Whiteboard walls in the classroom. Why one Year 10 maths teacher chose to install a glass whiteboard wall in his classroom and why he didn’t look back.
A glass whiteboard wall will revolutionise your classroom
Today we’re talking with Jason, a Year 10 Maths teacher. He works at a private school in Queensland and has found the addition of a glass whiteboard wall to his classroom to be a boon to his workplace.
Interviewer: What was it like starting out as a teacher?
Jason: The first day at my current school was one of the most memorable. I arrived really early so I could catch up with the principal and meet my fellow teachers. That’s when I found out I’d have my own classroom. I simply had to check it out right away.
I: What was your first impression of the classroom?
J: It was a mixed reaction, actually. The room was large and the lighting was great, but the back wall was awful. It was an eyesore. The paint was peeling in many places. Someone had obviously used tape to put up posters but hadn’t been careful when removing it. I knew straight off the bat that I couldn’t look at that wall all day every day!
I: So what was your next move?
J: About 6 months prior to my starting in the new job, I’d visited a teaching friend at his school. His classroom happened to be kitted out with a massive whiteboard wall. He’d inherited the classroom from a teacher who’d retired who obviously understood the importance of a good whiteboard. When I asked about the whiteboard wall, my friend said it was the best teaching tool he had. He used it every day, apparently. So, when I saw my classroom’s daggy back wall, I knew what needed to be done.
I: How did your new principal take your request?
J: I didn’t waste time asking! She told me I had a yearly budget that I could use on whatever I saw fit. If I wanted to use a chunk of it on a whiteboard wall, that was my prerogative. I knew about Whiteboards Online already – knew they had a great reputation, so I gave them a call.
I: How long before your whiteboard was up and running?
J: After the paperwork was all done, it took Whiteboards Online less than 4 weeks to have it built and installed.
I: Do you think a whiteboard wall was the right product for you?
J: Totally. One of my go-to activities for students is to get them into small groups in front of the whiteboard wall to solve an equation together. They all have ample space at the board to show their calculations. When the time for the activity is up, all the groups can easily compare notes to see how efficiently they all worked.
I did have initial concerns about the use of markers and erasers. I didn’t want to have to check them out and back in every time they needed to be used. Luckily, Whiteboards Online makes their boards magnetic. It was super simple to attach magnetic holders to keep the pens in one place and magnetic hooks to keep the erasers from going missing.
I: Have your students warmed to the glass whiteboard wall?
J: Absolutely. They love it! They’re super-motivated by student-focused learning and really like the control the board gives them. They’re in charge of the language, the calculations and the outcome. My brightest students have really risen to the challenge of leading their teams and directing the group. The team-based work environment is great for the slower kids too: they avoid embarrassment by working together with other students and are able to work at their own pace.
I: Awesome. Any final words?
J: Making the decision to install a whiteboard wall has been the highlight of my classroom. It’s literally changed my life and the life of my students. It’s a fantastic learning tool that empowers me to be a better teacher. It’s honestly gotten to the point where I can’t see myself teaching without one.
I’d recommend a glass whiteboard wall to every teacher. If you are in the position to get one, I can highly recommend Whiteboards Online!
- Greg Appleby