The Art of Teaching Out of A Cart: How Some Teachers Roll at North Atlanta


Woosh! The sound you may hear in the hallways as master teacher Eleanor Brookins makes her way from class to class. Floating teachers express a distinctive and strange method of teaching as they roll through their periods.

When one thinks of a teacher, thousands of images come to mind. Grading papers, dealing with loud, annoying kids, and teaching in their classroom. While most teachers do all these things, a special type of teacher does it a little bit differently. These unique teachers are known as floating teachers. Floating teachers don’t have their own classroom and must carry their entire classroom in one cart. At North Atlanta, it is the master teachers that get to experience this odd and unique method of teaching. 

Most would think that being a floating teacher is difficult and annoying, but the floaters at North Atlanta would give the experience an astonishing five star review. While a majority of teachers have to set up their classroom and decorate in August, these teachers simply have to set up a couple of jars with utensils and organize their papers. Eleanor Brookins, a social studies master teacher, has experienced being both a floating and regular teacher. She prefers to be a floating teacher due to reduced preparations. “It just makes life so much easier without a room,” Brookins said. 

While decreased preparation is helpful, it can also be a hindrance. It’s harder to prepare a large activity beforehand since the designated amount of time a teacher has in that classroom is only for that period. The set up time at the beginning of the year is cut off and so is activity preparations. This is especially difficult for science classes. A social studies class would only use their computers and maybe a notebook while science is a lot more hands on. Master science teacher, Iniiso Awak, has to face this issue every year. “Material matters more in a science class,” Awak said.

As floating teachers have made it through the years, they find that the school is very accommodating to these teachers. North Atlanta allows them to use the freight elevators to get around in the school so they don’t have to deal with the mischievous dubs during transition periods. The school also gives the master teachers a room for them to be in during their planning period. “The school listens to us whenever we have an issue,” Brookins said. 

Being a floating teacher certainly isn’t as calm and serene as a pool floatie sitting in the sun. While it may be easier for some teachers rather than others, a floating teacher is an unique position for a teacher to be in. If you ever happen to see a teacher lugging their cart around, maybe give them a wave or say hello as they continue to float away onto a new room and a new adventure as they tackle another day of teaching.