At our old facility, from which we moved in the summer of 2011, I had inherited the room that had the loft. I was so excited when I saw that classroom on my interview tour. I remember telling my parents that I would love to have that room, but wouldn't hold my breath. I was ecstatic. I loved using it. I would get a birds' eye view as I observed the children moving around the classroom. Children used it when they didn't feel well, or just wanted to get away for a bit. We were devastated when we couldn't bring it to the new facility with us.
Here is a picture of it after we had moved everything else out of the building:
Many of my students last year had been in that old building, and of course would ask for it. They were sad, but gradually accepted that it was gone. One of them was actually proud because his father had taken it to be reused elsewhere. This year, I am down to just a handful of kids who were in that building. Today, out of the blue, one of those boys asked me why we didn't have the loft.
"Well," I replied, "When we had to move here, [the boss] said we couldn't have it anymore for many reasons. Besides, where would we put it?"
He looked at me with a deadpan expression and said, "So, get rid of the SmartBoard!"
I swear I didn't put him up to this, as I know many of my readers know how I feel about the SmartBoard. And ironically enough, had the loft actually come with us, that's precisely where it was designated to go had the giant SB not arrived. Oh yeah, here is the monster-sized thing:
This is actually a picture from BEFORE the giant arm came out from the top, that is used as the projector. But, I digress...
Anyway, so I told him if he was really concerned about it, he could go ahead and talk to The Boss about it. He recruited one of his younger friends to go with them. The office staff later told me that they came in very serious and demanded to see The Boss (only using her proper name). With hands on his hips, he told her that we needed our loft back and wanted to know what to do. She asked them to draw a picture and to leave it for her later. They returned to the room to let me know.
I happened to have this picture on my computer still, so I opened up the file so that they could see it to draw it. He then used it as a talking point as he gathered other students around him. He told them how every part of it worked, all of the shelves and tables and what-not that had been around it, and how wonderful it had been. He also started listing reasons why we should get it backed and called it his "Business Meeting."
So, I offered to transcribe their reasons and tried to play Devil's Advocate as I came up with more questions for them to solve. When we were done, I typed it up. We printed it out. The little group signed it and then delivered it to The Boss for her to peruse. She told them that she would look it over and then meet with them later. They are determined to meet with her at 9 am, so I hope she does!
Here is what they had to say:
REASONS WHY WE NEED THE LOFT
- It was very quiet up there.
- We have tables and knee tables, but we need more room to work with more people.
- You can put knee tables under the loft.
- If it is too sunny and you forgot your sunglasses, you can work in the shade under the loft.
- When it is so hot, you can get cooler under there.
- It was so quiet up there, that you didn't need to come down to turn off the lights to tell people to be quiet.
- It was so nice up there. You could see everything in the room and see all the people. You could pick your work without having to walk around. You could look, see what the work was, and then pick it out to take back to the loft. You didn't have to walk and walk and walk and make your legs tired.
- The bench was up there. You could take a book and just turn the pages. No one interrupted you like down here.
- I think it would be nice and quiet and not disturbing like down here.
- The loft was so relaxing.
HOW WOULD YOU GET THE LOFT?
"How big is the box?"
WHO IS GOING TO BUILD THIS?
HOW WILL YOU PAY FOR THE LOFT?
- Doing jobs, like cleaning works.
- Collect all of the money at my home.
- Chiropractic job
- Go to all the classrooms to clean all of the works. ("You guys realize that we're going to have to be at school for a long time to get all of that cleaning done, right? We may have to sleep here!")
WHERE WOULD THE LOFT GO?
~~Take down the SmartBoard. It doesn't work, anyway, so we don't need it.
~~We can move the language shelves, put up the loft, and then put the shelves back under the loft.
~~We cannot block the bathroom, the exit door and the door you come in.
So, there you have it. I'm particularly fond of the sunglasses reason, myself.
Trying to get a loft into the classroom is going to be a difficult task. There are so many factors that must be taken into consideration, such as space, cost, and insurance with liability. We may be able to come up with some kind of a compromise. And honestly, my classroom isn't really loud this year. I think they just are in love with being able to turn off the lights to ask everyone to use quieter voices. ;-)
I love these guys.
I will keep you posted!