Inspiration Station Logistics
Kids are allowed to enter the building at 8:20 am. From 8:20 am until 8:35 am, students are in their homeroom unpacking, eating breakfast and getting ready for their day. Just like the students can get a pass to come to the library to check out books in the morning during homeroom, they can come to the Inspiration Station. It is my morning duty. I quickly realized, however, that by the time the students went to their classroom, got the pass, and came to the library, they did not have enough time to explore the Inspiration Station before being sent back to class at 8:35 am. What good is a Maker Space if there are no makers in it? Since my planning is first period from 8:35- 9:20am, I chose to split it. I send out a survey with possible 15 minute time slots and asked the homeroom teachers to select their preference. The teachers that responded to my survey were split, half wanted from 8:30-8:45 am and the other half wanted later 8:45-9:00 am. As a compromise, and because our librarian is not present on Thursdays and Fridays so I help with book check out during homeroom, I chose to have the following schedule:
Monday- Wednesday the Inspiration Station is available from 8:30-8:45 am
Thursday & Friday the Inspiration Station is available from 8:45-9:00 am
That means I take my planning starting at 8:20 am, and resume after duty until 9:20 am. At first, it was difficult for teachers to remember two different times but it was the best way to compromise. The Inspiration Station pass is a laminated 1/4 piece of paper that I have color coded by grade level. I have written in permanent marker on the back which homeroom it belongs to, in case it is lost. Next year, I plan on including the schedule on the back to help teachers and students remember. Currently only 3rd through 5th graders have passes. And because there are roughly 25 homerooms within those three grade levels alone, I only gave each class ONE pass. Therefore, there would not be more than 25 students at a time. It is up to the individual teacher to decide who gets to come each morning. Unfortunately, I think the teachers forget to assign the pass because on my busiest day I've only had about 15 kids. I have the students sign in when they come, on a clipboard, writing their first name, last name, and homeroom. Since I feel the Inspiration Station is not being fully utilized I plan on sending out a virtual flyer to remind the teachers to send kids down, including pictures to show what they've been missing out on. If that does not increase attendance, then I plan on awarding classrooms who do send kids down a second pass.
I also have no classes between 11:40am and 12:55 pm. Therefore, I have chosen to take my lunch from 12-12:30pm. Opening the Inspiration Station from 11:40 am- 12 pm would allow Fourth grade classes to send a student down during their lunch time. The idea would be for the chosen students to get their lunch first in line, eat, and then come down to the library to tinker. Open from 12:30- 12:50 pm would allow teachers to send Third and Fifth graders during their recess time. The ultimate goal is to allow as many students as possible an opportunity to come explore, as often as possible!