Creating a Unique Environment for Student Teachers
What would be the best way to give student teachers an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a real classroom setting, right on their own campus? How about creating mini classrooms? A field based experience gives student teachers an opportunity to have their first exposure to teaching without even leaving the University’s campus. Ann, a professor at Mayville State University in North Dakota decided to set up four mini classrooms to offer her students in the Teacher Education Program a school-based field experience. Ann needed to simulate four mock classrooms so her student teachers could experience teaching to 4th grade students, but only had one large classroom space to devote to the project.
When she called, this is what Ann said she was looking for:
- Portable dividers or walls to create four portable classrooms within one space
- A product that is easy to set up, break down, and store
- Something that requires a minimal amount of space to store when not in use
- Has a durable display surface that could withstand the use of tacks or staples
- Provide a barrier to decrease distractions and noise from the other mini classrooms
Screenflex portable partitions met all the criteria required (and then some!) to run these mini classrooms, so Ann purchased four, 6′-0″(H) x 9′-5″(L) partitions, and soon, the student teachers were working in their new classroom spaces.
A Day in the Life of Mayville State University Student Teachers
Each day, the 12 student teachers and their students set up their classroom by rolling out their dividers from a corner area where they are stored. It’s important to note that when stored, each Screenflex room divider effortlessly folds down to only a 2′ by 3′ footprint, and multiple units can easily nest together. When moving dividers out of storage or from room to room, Screenflex dividers fit through any standard doorway. Once unfolded, the room dividers easily lock into place, and because there are no gaps between the panels they make a solid visual barrier to separate one group from another. In addition, because Screenflex room divider panels are sound absorbing, they cut down on any noise distractions from the other classrooms. The student teachers love how easy it is to use the dividers and that it allows them to stay on the Mayville State campus for their practicum.
On average, twenty-one 4th grade students take part in the Mayville State University field study program. Students come from Peter Boe Elementary School and taught by Mayville student teachers for a two-week period. The primary 4th grade teacher selects the chapters they want the kids to learn from and most of the teaching is very hands-on. Volcanoes erupt during science class and play real instruments during music class. It’s easy to see how the 4th graders and student teachers both benefit from this program.
When I asked Ann what she and the student teachers liked most about the dividers she said,
- The dividers are easy to move, completely portable and super easy to store
- Students can easily roll out and open the dividers
- They bend nicely and fit our needs perfectly
- The dividers allow the kids to be blocked off from one another which works well for minimizing distractions
- We don’t have a storage closet for the dividers however, they fold up nicely and don’t take up much space. We store them right in the corner of the classroom
Looks like Screenflex dividers hit all of Ann’s requirements! Ann’s program is also a perfect example of how room dividers can be used for more than just dividing classroom space. These dividers are also used to display artwork, act as bulletin boards, and act as excellent visual and sound barriers. Best of all, it’s a great experience for student teachers because they’re able to get a real taste of instructing science, reading, math, and music.
Because Ann thought outside the box and called us to help resolve her space needs, Mayville State University education program students now get to stay on campus for their student teaching experience. When it comes to solving your facilities needs, let the professionals at Screenflex portable room dividers help you think outside the box too.