About this time last year, I wrote a post on “lessons learned by a change in location”. One year later, and as we prepare to move from our temporary location back into our old (but beautifully renovated) space on the other side of campus, I’ve been mulling over the experience of being housed in our student lounge for the past 16 months:
Location, location, location
- Last year I commented on the bonus of being temporarily located on the path to (and directly under) our dining hall. While I’ll miss close proximity to bacon fruit, we’re excited about returning to the geographic heart of the school. The new bonus will be our entrance. It used to be up a narrow staircase with little signage or light: I was amazed that students found us at all! I can’t wait to see students using our new entrance – wide, welcoming, and flowing directly from our new commons.
Access to adults
- Your library and mine are key gathering spaces where adults are available throughout the day (and evening, for those of us in boarding schools). While it was initially difficult for some of our students to adjust to ‘losing’ their space to the Library, many have commented on what they ended up liking about having someone supervising: it’s clean, it’s quiet(er) and it’s welcoming to everyone. In addition, while some kids are proactive about reaching out for help, we reach others by simply being present.
Keeping open-minded & flexible
- Being in a temporary space (not built for a modern school library) while planning for a new one (where not everything goes as planned) has forced us to think creatively. When faced with a shelving conundrum, one of my colleagues came up with an ingenious solution that makes it look like we planned it all along! I’ve been reminded of how ‘problems’ are so often opportunities – even though it can be hard to view them that way at times.
Looking forward to sharing photos from our new space next month!