Middle-school science teacher Aleitha Burns teaches in high-school biology teacher Kellie Whited's lab.

Middle-school and high-school teachers share rooms due to construction

The middle school is currently under construction, leaving teachers without classrooms. For example, science teacher Aleitha Burns used to have a classroom where the science department was, but now it’s under construction.

Physics teacher Glenn Mangold, who is now sharing his room with Burns, feels that there are “no difficulties.”

“It’s nice to see middle-school teachers and students every day,” Mangold said.

Biology teacher Kellie Whited also shares a room with Burns.

“I would say that the positives far outweigh the negatives, but there have been a few hiccups trying to figure out when the middle-school and high-school schedules overlap,” Whited said.

“Once we figured that out, the problem was solved with creative lesson plans and some mini field trips. So far there hasn’t been anything we can’t handle, since Ms. Burns and I are both willing to ‘roll with the punches.’”

Whited also loves the middle-school students’ energy.

“(Burns) is a fun and dynamic teacher, and I’m really enjoying getting to see her doing what she does best,” Whited said. “The middle-school students are so sweet and funny. They have energy for days.”

In addition, sharing rooms with Burns has given Whited a chance to meet new middle schoolers..

“I’m so excited to get to teach them in a few years!” Whited said.

Whited said that when Burns leaves upon the completion of the middle school center, she’ll be sad.

“I’ll lose my roomie,” Whited said.

Burns said she enjoys sharing her rooms with Mangold and Whited.

“He (Mangold) always checks in with me as he is leaving, asking if I need any help with the projector (you have to stand on a table to turn it on),” Burns said.

One of her biggest challenges is teaching biology in a physics classroom. “There is only one sink, so it can get messy quick,” Burns said.

“I enjoy connecting with Mr. Mangold each day and seeing what the ninth graders learn in physics. I also enjoy seeing past middle-school students as I leave and enter each day.”

However, most of Burns’s time is spent in Whited’s classroom.

“We have become good friends as a result. We share goofy biology stories and jokes,” Burns said.

Burns said that one of the biggest challenges will be leaving the biology room because it has become her favorite classroom in the Frank Science Center building.

“The students really enjoy connecting with the high-school teachers. They were very intimidated at first, but they have become more comfortable,” Burns said.

Another teacher sharing a classroom is science teacher Cade Grunst. He has been sharing with the new sixth-grade science teacher, Doug Whited.

However, Grunst has some difficulties sharing because he usually has prep periods to set everything up.

“It’s tricky to set up labs when there are a bunch of sixth graders in the room, and I don’t want to disrupt Mr. Whited’s classes,” Grunst said.

Grunst teaches all three grades of the middle school in his classroom. Apart from that, he also teaches the Robotics elective and club.

“I have scattered bits of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade labs all over my work benches, along with debris from the Robotics elective and club,” Grunst said.

“I like being able to interact a bit with the sixth graders, whom I don’t generally get to talk with,” Grunst said. “I think I’m the only teacher who sees all three classes first hand regularly!”

Whited said that he has no difficulty sharing a room with Grunst.

“He and I get along very well, and I have gotten the opportunity to meet many of the eighth graders,” Whited said.

“I absolutely love being a part of the Country Day family, and sharing a room just makes it all the more cozier.”

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