Human beings, and especially high school and middle school students, have different reactions to new physical space ( gyms, classrooms, cafeteria, play areas). We are now six weeks into our school year. At Craig High School, our Ninth Graders are finishing several weeks of being new to High School. I have asked a few of the students to tell me what they think about their space at Craig High School. What is important to them? Here I are a few comments “I like the hallways and the ability to see my teachers in their classrooms- right off this hall.” “I feel a sense of community as we move from class to class. Seeing the kids down the hall in Boonton High School tells me I am in high school”
They have a sense of independence in the space. This is important and age appropriate.
When I talk with the students in our Middle School, who are experiencing the renovated six classrooms, labs and offices in our Wilson building, I get a different answer. I hear ”it is beautiful and peaceful”. I hear about the Hokki stools, the Yoga balls, the chairs that rock, that Stand-up desks and the large lockers. The lighting and technology that they experience is what helps their mood and thinking. Their world is one of physical space. This is important and age appropriate.
In sum, as human beings, let us continue to celebrate our reactions to new space, places, or surroundings. In life, let us all accept that our place in the spaces we occupy change and evolve all the time.