I read The Starbucks Experience last year, and I was amazed at the principles this company uses to connect with their customers. They want to become the "third place" in a person's life, right after home and work. They aren't selling coffee -- they're selling an experience. Yes, the coffee is good, but there's great music, comfortable seating, environmentally-conscious cups, and trained baristas, as they're called.

Which makes me wonder -- What place is school? Are we second? Third? Are we even in the top ten? We put so much energy into selling our content. We serve up hot cups of curriculum to all the different intelligences. (A grande Cafe Mocha, extra hot, extra chocolate, low-fat, please.) We pay attention to pacing and order of units, making sure nothing is missed or forgotten along the way. (Your order will be at the end of the bar, sir.) But, we're paying no attention to the physical environment that invites people to sit and stay awhile. To join in a conversation. In fact, we're not even worried about that at all. Who has time?

Take a look at the links that Jane gave as comments to my last post. Most of the pictures and references are great for an elementary classroom. The decorations are wonderfully appealing. But, I don't see very much that would make a high school student take notice, much less stop and sit down to stay for a chat.

More ideas to come, but I'd love to hear what you think so far. Thanks for reading.

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