Change is hard, it makes some adults uncomfortable, and it may even make some kids uncomfortable; so, the question remains: is it worth it?
Is it worth the look of excitement on the kids faces when they find out they can come into the Learning Commons at lunch and talk, laugh, and have fun? Is it worth all their smiles as they engage with one another chattering about who gets to play next, and who will take a turn being a ref? What about that kid that says to you, “I never come to the library, but this is fun!” And most importantly, what about those kids that ask, “Are you going to do Book Pong again?” and “Will you do more stuff at lunch?”
The JH library has been renamed as the Learning Commons, and designed to accommodate different learning styles working in different learning spaces, and sometimes those spaces will be used for play! So… who was the most receptive group to embrace change – our grade 8s of course, they have not yet be indoctrinated into believing that this hallowed ground must be a sacred place of calm and quiet. The least receptive to change would be our grade 12s and supervision staff: ”Is it going to be like this every week?” asked one miserable looking senior student who wanted to study in peace. ”What about those poor kids who need a quiet place to study, this isn’t fair to them!” commented one of our supervision staff, who challenged my beliefs for a good 3 minutes.
I do believe in balance, and yes there will be many peaceful mornings, lunch hours, and after school opportunities for those who wish to study. However, I also believe that the Learning Commons is a place that students can go and connect with us, each other, and the world. It is a place to play, create, communicate, and have fun. Can that be done in silence? I don’t think so. The enthusiasm of the kids that came out for Book Pong told me what they wanted, what they needed, and at least once a month I will strive to deliver!
Yes, Change is hard and it makes people uncomfortable , but I think it’s worth it! What do you think?
Next month, Bookmark Bingo or maybe a Blackbox Creativity Challenge, hmmmm… Better wear your earbuds all you study-bugs.