I met some of my yearbook staff at Barnes & Noble today (a Sunday–they’re willing to do this sort of thing). We looked at magazines for design ideas, and it really helped us get an idea of what they want their book to look like.
We got more done in three hours at a Barnes & Noble than we could ever manage in an entire week at school. Towards the end, one of them said, “We should do this more often.” I’m excited they’re so passionate, but part of me thought, “well, we’re supposed to be doing this every day–in class. That’s what my classroom’s for.”
I’ve got this classroom with plenty of desks and computers. It’s a useful room, in theory. But it’s school, and school sucks. It’s nice to get some work done at some place that doesn’t suck. I used to be puzzled by the people who held a meeting at Starbucks or Atlanta Bread Company. Now I get it. It’s some other place–not that hell hole that you’re forced to go to every day.
My yearbook staff’s one thing. If we need a day away from the classroom, we can do that on a weekend or an evening. My freshmen, who hate writing, who look at books like they’re a plate of liver, don’t have much of a choice. I couldn’t take them to Barnes & Noble 32 at a time even if I wanted. So here’s the challenge, gentle reader: how do I make the classroom feel like Barnes & Noble or Starbucks? How do I give my classroom that “At least I’m not at that other place” kind of feeling?