A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of touring the new Joplin high school. Some members in my family refer to it as the Taj Mahal because of its size and the length of time it has taken to construct it, but I was curious to take the tour to see it for myself.
During the tour, we oooo-ed and awe-ed over the learning spaces, the high ceilings in the cafeteria, and the student-run coffee shop.
There were some amazingly impressive things---motion sensor lights in the hallways, a sliding bookshelf which serves as a door to the library, the 'general' spaces for students to mingle in the halls, equipped with tables and big-screen tvs and apple tvs so they can sync up their computers and phones to watch videos and work on collaborative projects.
I was definitely jealous of the wide-open spaces for students to have room to spread out and work----my own room feels so small when it is full of 33 students, we definitely cannot spread out...
The art room was amazing, floor to ceiling white boards on every single wall-----made my tiny white board look like a postage stamp.....and the natural light along one wall---with big windows ---wow....I'm one long, dark corridor away from a window, my own room is pitch black when the lights are off---I"m always afraid of a power outage. The room had pottery wheels, a closet for clay to dry and a kiln, storage and shelving galore.
We visited the 'hospitality room'. A conference room, which has windows all along one wall, which overlooks the playing and practice fields in front of the school. It was lovely and impressive. As were the weight rooms, 2nd and 3rd gyms, the giant panoramic screen above the main gym, the catwalks and skywalks which serve as sunlight hallways.
I don't think I have ever been inside a new high school which is so modern and lovely. It made me long for wide-open-interiors and brightly lit learning spaces.
There are so many wonderful things about the new school, if you ever get a chance to take the tour, you should do it.
However.....as we were wrapping up our expedition through the gym, I noticed a mirage-like movement from across the gym...it was a familiar site, something I had definitely glimpsed before, so I know I am not mistaken in what I saw....yet it was so entirely unexpected that it was shocking and almost unbelievable. A mouse. Darted out from below a door, into the bright, open gym, and then immediately ran back under the door.
A mouse lives in the Taj Mahal...and once I realized that, I was grateful for my own tiny classroom. The grass isn't always greener, folks.
This is my 'slice of life' blog.
My Art Teacher Blog:
This Little Class of Mine