Spanish Teacher Jess Nickelsen notices a student giving a piggyback ride to another while running through the World Language resource area. The students aren’t in any World Language classes, though. She steps out of her classroom and calls after the students, “Why can’t we just make it to the end of the school year?”
Many teachers use the resource areas for collaborative work time and other teachers don’t allow it to be used, ever. Sometimes a site for essential collaboration and work, these seven nearly identical blue common rooms in our school have been shunned from their full potential by the improper use of the area.
The Resource Areas have been the source of many problems this year. Most students who go out to the resource areas to work are not nearly as productive as they are in class. When walking into the junior English resource area, one has a lot of different things to be distracted by. From the groups of six to seven kids laughing, to the whiteboard occasionally covered in disguised phallic images, Among Us drawings, and other interesting doodles.
“I think it’s a place where students escape from having to actually do what they’re being asked to do,” said FACS Teacher Ashley Lostetter.
She thinks that the issue in the resource area comes from Buffalo High School’s eighty minute class periods. With the school’s upcoming schedule change, Lostetter believes the issue in the resource areas will fix itself.
Around half way through each block, when many lessons are over and it’s time to work individually, many students choose to go to the resource area. Sometimes, students use the area, not as a productive learning environment, but as a lounge. They eat snacks, giggle, and share stories with each other. Teachers have to monitor the kids in class, and the kids that are in the resource area interchangeably. This makes it very easy for students to get distracted in the area. This environment is not ideal for someone who is potentially taking a test, though.
“We need that space for collaborative work time, but when students come out here to test, it can get loud,” said Sara Mart.
Mart thinks that the resource area is well utilized for collaborative work, but the school needs a different space for individual work time.
The Resource Area can be pretty off topic at times, but some classes need to use them for small group work time. Small groups don’t all fit in every classroom, so the resource areas can be essential. It doesn’t work to have students split into groups and stay in the classroom, which can be far more distracted, and crowded too.
The Resource Areas are essential in our school, and we need to stop overlooking them. The area has high potential if we are able to keep students motivated to work. Students and teachers can better utilize these areas by not pretending they are a forbidden area, or somewhere you’re not supposed to be. In future years, the resource area can evolve into a great learning environment where class continues outside of the classroom.