STAFF EDITORIAL: Increase appreciation towards temporary classrooms

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Spring time inevitably prompts the desire to take a break and enjoy the outdoors. With the new installation of the temporary classrooms, most students must now travel outside and south of the music wing to attend their history and language courses. The trek, although longer than most students anticipated, offers a convenient opportunity for students to escape momentarily from the business of school life and relish in the serenity of spring. Yet somehow, students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, upper classmen in particular, have cultivated complaints towards the professed inconvenience the temporary classrooms bring.

The temporary classrooms were put in place while the new Schilling center for math and science is constructed. The new building will not be opening until fall of 2018 which surely could irritate juniors and seniors as they will not be able to use the new building. This irritation from students, not solely juniors and seniors, has resulted with rude remarks regarding the building’s exterior, smell and disruption as a whole. Comments such as “it smells weird” or “it looks like a mental institution” can be heard around the school.

These remarks towards the temporary classrooms and the temporary building itself perhaps stem from embarrassment. Obviously the building isn’t the most attractive compared to the Huss Center, yet that shouldn’t matter. The quality of education remains. The teachers have not been replaced. The curriculums inside each classroom persist. Administration has made it very clear that these classrooms are only a temporary matter and that the actual classrooms themselves operate just as they did in the main building.

The prestige SPA has created with the care of its exterior like the maintenance of fields, the trees in front of the Huss Center and the flowers and sculpture in Lily Courtyard cannot be forgotten with the temporary classrooms. The seemingly displeasing nature of the exterior of the temporary building should not erase the other attractive exterior components at SPA that continue to thrive.

The temporary building should be viewed as an addition and not a negative replacement. The walkway to the temporary building, the heat lamps and the drinking fountain inside are all components the maintenance staff incorporated so as to ensure the classrooms feel just the same as they did before. Not only does this building accommodate students, it has perks for teachers. Every teacher has their own classroom, allowing for teachers to keep their own materials in it and making it easier for students to seek their teachers for help. Teachers have also begun to hang posters inside the building which add to the character of the building itself.

It’s not where students are, where classes are taught, or where teachers give lessons, it’s what they are.”

SPA students and faculty continually pride themselves on fostering a close knit community. That said, students’ rude comments towards the temporary classrooms undermine this philosophy. If some juniors and seniors resent their lack of opportunity to use the Schilling center, this fundamentally refutes any sense of commonality SPA wishes to create. Being visibly frustrated towards the temporary classrooms and the time frame of the construction with under the breath remarks and lack of focus in the classroom should be avoided. Students, upper class students in particular, must understand the privilege they have to simply attend a school constructing a world class math and science facility. It should not matter that those students may not be able to take classes in the actual building itself.

Many upperclassmen have siblings in lower grades who will be able to benefit from the Schilling Center, making the building beneficial in the long run. Whether or not a student is going to personally benefit from the Schilling Center should not matter. The development of the building should be celebrated as it will present more opportunities for students to come. If the temporary classrooms were met with increased appreciation, SPA could easily live up to its preconceived stature of unity.

Appreciating the temporary classrooms is simple: take advantage of walking outside with peers. Comprehend that the learning that takes place inside each class is the just as great as before. For seniors who leave incredibly soon, the ability to walk outside with high school friends is fleeting and would not want to be impaired by complaints of the actual walk itself. Give thanks towards the maintenance staff who strive to make the building as comfortable as possible. Recall that the temporary classrooms do not obstruct students’ prestigious level of education. Students must reframe their mindset towards the classrooms and view them as a new experience and not an inconvenience. It’s not where students are, where classes are taught, or where teachers give lessons, it’s what they are.