My First Impression of IOE
28 Sep 2014, the date I arrived at Heathrow airport, Russell Square station, and IOE, Institute of Education UCL. I remember I dragged my two luggages passing by this concrete building and did not feel this is the institute for education. Well, I thought it would be more traditional and classical, the building with ages, just like National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), my university in Taiwan. They are all famous for education, but their environment are different. I am going to present their difference in the following.
Unlike schools in the US or Taiwan, universities or institutions of higher education in London are well known for less campus but several buildings of schools. IOE has a big building with front and back door, both of them has the name on it but with small door. The building is modern with industrialised design, constructed in concrete and glass. For me, being a graduate student particularly, it is satisfied to study in this environment. Since studying and doing research are the main purpose, campus is not that important. However, as a university with several active communities or extracurricular activities, having campus, or at least an outdoor plaza is important. IOE has indoor venues, as for the outdoor, I guess the plaza in front of the backdoor is big enough. In terms of NTNU, the campus begins from an arched door with the name of school. It is similar to most of universities in Taiwan, trying to create a magnificent and academic atmosphere. This style of front door is the same as UCL, both with guardhouse and driveway gate.
Once you walk in IOE, the most frustrating design is levels. The ‘ground floor’ for most of buildings in the UK is the ‘fourth’ floor at IOE. It is struggling especially being a freshman here. I remember the location for orientation is on the ‘ground floor’, but actually, I went down three floors to the place. Except for that, the direction, leisure area, even portrays on walls are modernised. NTNU, on the other hand, is traditional. Trees may rooted outside of IOE, but with campus, they are along alley in school. Buildings in the university are combining the old Japanese and Chinese style. Strolling along the surroundings, you can feel the historical and traditional atmosphere of academy, but the freshness and silvery laughter of students.
Comparing to other work environment, educational academy provides the simple and academic atmosphere that I have experienced so far. When I looked through these photos, I can remember the old and present days that I have been a student. Being a student is a special period of time in lifetime, no matter it is worth recall or not. For me, there are always memorable of every stages in schools. I guess that is the reason that I am satisfied being a secondary school teacher for working in this environment.