Interesting Quirks

Grassy AreaOur new building has some interesting quirks, one of which is this beautiful grassy area. It is placed between the two main classroom wings which stick out like spokes from the Commons area (cafeteria/stage/open space), but it is only accessible by what are essentially “emergency access only” doors that don’t have external handles. Weird, right?

My colleagues and I have decided that it would be the perfect “outdoor classroom” – at least until the rain starts! I took this photo from the seating area in our new library. Unfortunately, our librarian quit last week so nothing in the library is unpacked or organized yet. Oh well. 

In other news, at our all-staff meeting today we began to implement a problem-solving strategy called “Interest Based Strategies” (or IBS, if you like unfortunate acronyms) to discuss a few of the current school rules that are hotly contested. I attended a training earlier this summer on Interest Based Strategies and was really impressed by it. Our district used IBS to bargain our new contract the year before last and it was smooth, painless and nearly everyone is happy with it. I’m glad we will be using the strategies as a building and in smaller committees and groups, but it was kind of a bummer that we ran out of time in our meeting today to fully complete the process as a whole building. The committee reviewing the rules will be going over our work today and coming to a final conclusion on whether to change the existing rules or not. 

There were four issues up for discussion today, and it was interesting to me to see where various colleagues fell on the issues. I admit I am guilty of not always noticing students chewing gum, I probably miss dress code violations, and I am torn on the issue of mobile devices in the classroom.  I love, love, love my school’s policy of no backpacks in the classroom, however, and I will be sad if that changes. 



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