Andrew: What’s a soffit?
Me: (Pointing to the new soffit) Well, it’s this.
Andrew: Oh, okay. Thanks.
This week I have been visiting the Middle School Commons as soon as I arrive at Crossroads. The changes and improvements to that space are happening quickly, and the middle schoolers I meet down there are very excited about it. Already, the lockers have been moved along the perimeter (opening up the space), a new soffit has been built above them, and windows have been cut into one of Jad’s classroom walls. Yesterday afternoon, a couple middle schoolers helped me think about carpet square colors, and today we marveled at the new soffit, despite our inability to do more than name it and point at it.
I am pleased by the middle schoolers support and enthusiasm for these changes to their space. We had a good time talking about wall colors and locker colors and whether or not there should be a mural in the stairway or shelves for art. Ultimately, we decided on a blue staircase, blue lockers, and white walls with yellow accents. Middle Schooler participation in these decisions helps them own and feel connected to this space. I am grateful for the donation of time and money and energy that is making this upgrade a reality.
As I reflect on this experience, I marvel at how our middle schoolers are still filled with wonder (“How are they doing this so fast?”), gratitude (“Thanks, Jason, doing this.”), and curiosity (“If we can’t have a middle school dog, can we have a TV so that we can watch the History Channel? It’s educational.”) Really, they worked hard to understand what I meant by creating a space where we could learn and be a part of a community, and I am looking forward to what we might learn and create together in our improved Middle School Commons.