Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Fishbowl

I have my own space in the school where I take my groups to work. It's such a special place I just wanted to share it with you.

My space is close at hand. We are heading down the stairs. It sort of looks like we are leaving the building, doesn't it? Maybe it's all the exit signs making you feel that way.

Getting closer now...

Wait! What's this? Is this a workspace hidden at the bottom of a flight of stairs and practically outside?It is! My, my isn't this cozy!

It's warmer than it looks because hanging right over the table is this. I have some students who don't sit under the heater because it scares them. It only scares me when it's not on.

I call my space The Fishbowl because as classes file past to go to recess or come back from recess they all gawk at me and my group. Sometimes they actually have their mouths hanging open. We're a regular circus sideshow for them. While the doors are open we get to freeze and all the books and papers blow everywhere. So it's fun for us too.

As you can probably image, having recess right outside my space can be just a bit of a distraction for my zombies. Sometimes a ball or Frisbee will strike the door and startles us. Just today we had some kid who thought it would be a great idea to spend his recess smashing his face into the window at us. I busted him big time to his teacher. I do believe he's lost recess for the rest of the school year. Poor zombie!

But I can't complain too much about my space. I do after all have my own cart for my stuff. I have to share a shelf with a bag of de-icer but it's comforting to know that I have a shovel close at hand if things get really out of control. Do you see my box of Teddy Grahams? They are still doing their magic of making zombies come to life!

In the end though, I'm lucky to have this space. There is an aide here who knows the schedules of all the teachers and uses their rooms when they are at lunch or the library or something like that. She's like the hermit crab of tutors. Given a choice, I'd rather hang out in my Fishbowl.


Weaver said...

amazing use of space! (or sad commentary on the life and times in public school buildings, but I'm sticking with happy thoughts today!)

Nance said...

Let's take kids who are already having learning problems and add the following distractions:

1. open space
2. constant traffic
3. change in climate/temperature
4. noise
5. lure of open space
6. lure of alternative desirable activity

and send the following messages:

1. we don't value this program because we haven't made a meaningful space for it
2. we don't expect success because we haven't allotted special materials for it
3. we don't care about you because we haven't devoted thought to where we put you

Give me a break. Yet, who will get all the blame? The teachers.

me said...

YICKS!! I haven't been able to do anything with the school library because the aides have taken over! It's the one place where there isn't already someone tutoring or teaching all the time. It leaves me with shelving books and cleaning the libary during the odd lunch that the room is empty or after school.

J. said...

Weaver: This building is so crowded, there isn't even a closet that isn't taken with a desk and two chairs already. So getting this space is clever and a sad commentary at the same time.

Nance: That is all true, I'm afraid. But I'm determined to do the best I can despite it all.

Me: "Taken over by aides" sounds like an insect infestation! I say, go ahead and make noise in there. Kids are used to it!