Influx of new students and staff causes more teachers to share classrooms


Sharing classrooms is becoming more familiar to teachers.

Full classrooms, crowded hallways and students and teachers alike running around the school are the norm of West Linn High School this year. Our school is growing, and the effects are felt by all who work and study here.

There are roughly 100 additional students enrolled in WLHS for the 2015-16 school year. This has caused administration to hire more teachers, and by default, more class space is needed, which has resulted in shared classrooms.

According to Annikke Olson, Assistant Principal, the administration and department heads come together to decide who shares a room, and what kind of room is needed for each subject. This ensures that chemistry classes can be taught in rooms with labs, computer technology classes can be taught in computer labs and so on with any class with specific needs. Olson says that teachers try to rotate who shares a room each year.

“If someone shares a room one year, maybe they don’t the next year so it’s more evenly spread,” Olson said. Decisions are also made so that each teacher has a kind of ‘home base’ to keep their things and teaching materials.

The technology department has made it a priority to distribute laptops to all teachers who move classrooms so that their work can be done from other work spaces.

“If a teacher is moving from room to room to teach, they can have their documents and materials ready to go no matter where they are at. That is a really helpful piece of support for our teachers to have,” Olson said.  The technology department has also standardized what equipment is used in each room so that teachers who teach in multiple rooms will have consistency with technology like overhead projectors and document camera.

Work spaces have been dedicated for teachers to work from if their room is used during their prep period. Teacher work spaces are located upstairs near the staff room, next to the ISEF office, and at the back of the media center in the library.

Having taught in shared classrooms for almost every year of her 11 year career, Amanda Dowd, math teacher, is accustomed to sharing her work space.

“I always share a classroom with great people and we always respect each other’s space, so generally it’s not an issue for me,” Dowd said. Dowd shares her room with Michael George, math and computer sciences teacher.

“I actually teach five classes in here and Mr. George teaches one, so I don’t have to share that much,” Dowd said. During her prep period, Dowd usually goes to the teacher spaces designated in the library to do her work.  

Todd Jones, Social Studies teacher, has shared his room in the past and even had to teach in multiple classrooms.

“I view the room truly as the school’s property, not mine. It’s pretty easy for me because I only teach in one room and I only have to leave for my prep period,” Jones said. He works hard to remember all of the materials he needs for his prep period so he doesn’t bother the class, taught by Marc Zollinger, Spanish teacher. Jones usually moves his work during his prep period to the spaces provided for teachers upstairs.