Teachers adjust to nontraditional instructional spaces

Not an actual classroom? Not a problem.


Maggie Johnson

During G period on Sept. 22, social studies teacher Sr. Mary Ann Stewart checks out the video monitor. Sr. Stewart is instructing all of her classes in the library this year.

Avery Stuckey , Reporter

With both Covid-19 and construction on the Hill, several teachers have had to relocate from  their original classrooms to nontraditional spaces. Those spaces include the Shiel Student Life Center, the Welch Activity Center and the library, where Sr. Mary Ann Stewart is teaching her social studies classes.

Sr. Stewart said, “All of my classes are in the library this year.”

While there are some downsides to her teaching location, Sr. Stewart said, “We have a nice view on the back and we can watch the construction from the front doors of the library,” Stewart said.

Although this change seems significant, Sr. Stewart said she thinks having her classes meet in the library has not affected her students negatively. “I don’t think it’s a whole lot different, except it is much healthier for them,” Stewart said.

This change hasn’t just been a big adjustment for the students but also for her. She continues to look at the space she was given and be thankful for it. “I don’t think it’s affected me negatively in any way,” Stewart said.

This change has also provided positive results in Covid-19 cases among the students. By spreading out students and moving classrooms around, Sr. Stewart said she thinks it has decreased the risk of students getting exposed. “I think it would’ve been difficult to put all my students in one classroom,” said Stewart. 

The library is different from typical classrooms in Kelly and Loretto halls. The library gave Sr. Stewart more opportunities to branch out on how she teaches, since she was limited on supplies she could bring to her new teaching space. “It’s just different. I don’t have the same physical resources,” Stewart said.

Although Covid continues to affect every aspect of life on the Hill, it’s not the main reason classes have had to relocate. The construction has played a role in the moving of her classroom. “The construction is part of the reason we are in here,” Stewart said. Because of the construction of the Innovation Center, several math classrooms are not available this year, causing teachers to have to move to classrooms other than their own, and this affected instructors and their room assignments.

Sr. Stewart said, “I think it was a good decision to move the students here.”