Written by: Lawrence Chen
Building N, the math and English building near the little theater, was completed over the summer just in time for the respective teachers to settle in. The classrooms on the first floor are numbered in the 100s while the classrooms on the second floor are numbered in the 200s. Overall, the teachers’ reactions to the new buildings have been mostly positive.
Many teachers appreciate the new building for its high ceilings and expanded space as it added to both the psycological and physical environment of the classrooms. “One of the main differences from where we were before is that we have more space to spread out,” math teacher Daniel Hahn said. “Last year, I taught all my classes in the same room, but during my prep periods, other teachers would come in and use my room and we shuffled around. But it’s nice to have our own spaces where we can work and set up environments for our classes to keep the setting consistent.” Math teacher Diane Gleason agrees with Hahn in that the new space has been a welcome change. “We have got trees and nice views [from the second floor], it’s very pleasant,” Gleason said. “The high ceilings feel a lot different. Overall, the new rooms are very light and airy, there is lots of space, making them more comfortable and inviting.”
Besides the actual building rooms being larger, the fact that the teachers of the math and English departments are now together in a single building has added much unity to the teachers’ community thus letting the teachers work together better. English teacher Justin Brown supports this very enthusiastically. “I think the best thing about [the new building] is that for the first time ever since I’ve been here at Gunn, all of us at the English department get to be in the same building,” Brown said. “That’s huge for the camaraderie of our department, for building the community within our department—it makes a big difference. We are able to see each other more frequently and we are able to collaborate more frequently.” In the new buildings, math and English teachers share space with their own departments and have additional conference room space. “The teachers’ office space is great because we’re all in one room so it’s easy to work together to collaborate,” Gleason said.
Despite the many great things about the new building, there is one aspect of the building that many teachers agree is a slight nuisance: location. Though not as isolated as the Village portables, the Building N is still quite far from much of the action at Gunn. “From my old classroom, I could see the quad so it was nice to be able to be in the middle of everything and see whatever activities were going on and then here I feel a little bit isolated,” Hahn said. “I feel a little bit removed from the rest of school.” However, teachers who relocated from the village do not feel the impact of the location as much. “Now it’s as if the math and English departments have our own little town down here so it feels a little bit cut off from the main part of the action at school, but when I was in the Village, I certainly felt very far removed,” Brown said.