Pre-Semester Visit to Classrooms

My fall semester starts on Monday.  I’m both excited and nervous about it, partly because it’s my first time teaching at this school, partly because it’s my first post-Ph.D.-completion job.  One of the things that helped me feel more at ease about this semester was visiting my classrooms to get a sense of the room:

  • Where can I stand or walk as I teach?
  • How deep is the room? How wide is the room? (i.e. how loudly will I need to talk?)
  • How well does the PowerPoint show up?
  • How well can students see in the back row? on the sides?
  • What is the smallest size font I can use in a PowerPoint?
  • What is the best background color for the PowerPoint slides in this classroom? (I tend to like yellow or black, but yellow looks very washed out with these projectors so I’m using black for all my slides here)
  • Can students see thin lines on slides? the bottom of slides?
  • How much room do the students have to move around?
  • Does the seating arrangement favor or prevent group discussion or class discussion or the teacher lecturing and asking questions?
  • What is the temperature of the room?
  • How disruptive will it be if a student enters the room?

As I thought about all these questions in each of my classrooms, I got more comfortable in my new environment and more excited for the semester to start on Monday!

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