Our offices are rather cramped. I may have mentioned the Coffee Closet, a.k.a. the Clounge. We have no room to sit down together, and there is no lounge or meeting area. The coffee maker and the microwaves are in a storage closet, on a table opposite shelves loaded with books, manuals, bags full of math manipulatives and science materials, and boxes of pencils and pens. And more, I’m sure, but there are boxes I’m afraid to open, they’ve been there so long.
Anyway, we have no place for families to sit down and wait, either. Teachers are creative, even when they work in cubicles, so of course someone came up with a solution.
It’s just two chairs and a small table. To the right is our main door; to the left, storage lockers. This little spot is in a huge hallway — huge in the way that it’s a school hallway, wide enough for large groups of students to comfortably pass from one class to another. Nowadays, on our top floor at least, only teachers and administrators wander this hallway, and usually just to get from their own offices to the bathroom and back again.
But as it happens, I had another brainstorm. Parents often sit here while they are waiting for their children to take a placement test or get a benchmark reading assessment done. Many parents have youngsters along, and then have nothing to do while they wait. Here’s our chance. We’ll give them something to do, something valuable, something that will be good for both parent and child.
We’ll create a read-aloud station in our new Hallway-Lobby.
It’s fairly simple in concept. A set of books, a batch of informational brochures, and a sign explaining it all.
And below, the drawer, previously containing only empty file folders, now filled with learning materials.
Books are on the way. I ordered ten different picture books from Paperback Swap dot com, and six are already in the mail headed my way. I’ll beg and plead I mean I’ll write for a grant or two and see if we can beef up the collection, and then we’ll have it: the reading area.
I’ll let you know how it works. The boss likes it, so it must be worth something.
Charming! And clever use of too much space in the wrong place!