The Library is located almost at the end of a corridor with just one room beyond. This room is used for meetings, interviews and as an extra space when one is required. People tend to forget that the Library is right next door, perhaps because the Library entrance isn’t immediately adjacent.
Yesterday a harassed colleague rushed in to tell me that her class had been given permission to practice singing in the room that period. She was obviously concerned that this would impact on the peace and tranquility of the Library; it actually gave us the chance to enforce peace and tranquility for a change by telling the class that their voices would be picked up by the microphones 😈
This morning, I discovered that interviews were taking place in the room. Ideally I’d have just cancelled every class – the fewer distractions the better for interviewees – but that wasn’t possible. So 2nd year English working on Challenge X were encouraged to only use computers if absolutely necessary, the Tutor class registering for the Careers software were warned to remain in absolute silence while they worked, and the 1st year Reading Trailers remained in class and came along to swap their books in wee groups.
The only difficulty came with IDL. This was their last period and the intention had been to complete and print off all of their work. On a rather noisy colour printer. Right through the wall from where the interviews were happening. Er, no.
Alternative plan needed sharpish. Something to keep them away from the printer. Something to keep them away from the computers altogether. And that’s when I suddenly found myself saying to the class,
since we can’t print off today, we’d like you to work together to create a board game to tour around Lanarkshire using the resarch you’ve already gathered.
And the class, bless them, didn’t even blink at the change of plan, but rapidly got their paper and pens sorted and got to work. Ten minutes later, as we surveyed the happily blethering tables, adapting their work, checking leaflets for additional Lanarkshire locations, I turned to the teacher and muttered,
Don’t hate me, but this is much more fun than our original plan. I think we should swap to this for all the other classes too.
to which she fortunately replied,
Yes, I think so too!
They say necessity is the mother of invention. You never know what set of circumstances will cause your brain to provide a better solution to an existing challenge. I suppose the trick is being open to the opportunity.