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What would you want in a roleplay school?


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Since there seems to be a perpetual revolving door on roleplay schools, due to the cost and management of them, I've been throwing some ideas around for making a school that does things differently. I have some ideas I want to run with at the moment, but I want some more feedback.

First off, while having a full sized school and campus is great, it's very expensive and thus unstable. Would you attend an RP school if it were in a smaller building or even just a single classroom? It would be far easier to keep a smaller school going, especially since you can really only have one or two classes going at once anyways, and the campus is otherwise empty.

Another issue I see is that it's hard to get teachers locked in. How would you feel about, instead of the school being a business, it instead be more of an organized roleplaying space? Like, if a given teacher wants to teach a few classes or only once every few weeks, would you be cool with that? I'm thinking that way, it's more about the class and the roleplay than the structure and formality, and it would be easier for teachers to roleplay there without it turning into another job. Obviously there would be some quality control issues, but I think I have an idea for that.

What else would you like to see? What really works and what causes problems? Are almost all RP schools doomed to fail?

Thanks.
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I think the ideas you have listed above are fantastic. My old SL daughter paid 365L a week for classes. Hardly any of her teachers were there and locking down class times were really hard. As a parent I think it would be fantastic to have it more so if a teacher wanted to teach a class and there was enough given people around who wanted to participate than that sounds perfect. Have you tried opening up on an already pre-existing RP sim that does not have a school yet? I live on a sim that does not have a school and I have been hoping in time they get some form of a school and by that I mean one thats not SUPER large. Just a space for kids to go and RP with meet other kids and have something to talk about over dinner. I hope I have been of some help and if not any help then just letting you know another person supports your idea of doing things different since so far it does appear to be a curse on larger over done SL Schools. 

 

I look forward to seeing your school up and running however large or small it may be. 

 

~RedWrath Resident. 

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Thanks for your reply. I haven't started looking for land yet, but my RP parents did inquire for a while about opening a school on a similar. My understanding was that there were too many cooks in the kitchen, and the sim either wanted a ton of money (on the thinking that their specific sim was a service to the school) or they wanted control in the school. Also, I think space was an issue, since they wanted a full sized school (I was mostly kept put of the discussions, even when I asked about them).

 

So you mind sharing a landmark or the name of your sim?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fairfield RP Community

I also think your ideas are great.

For me, a little more flexibility in scheduling would be great so it feels more like facilitating roleplaying and less like a second teaching job. 

I echo RedWrath's suggestion abou opening a school on a RP family sim. I think it would be beneficially to both the school and the sim in multiple ways. And if you're looking for a smaller operation instead of a full campus I don't think you'd run into as many issues as your RP parents might have. 

If you need/want help getting up and running, I volunteer. 

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That´s a nice idea you got there, people who RP children, or have RP children, certainly have demand but not much choice there, especially stable choices.

From the POV or someone who played on a medieval sim for years, that had RP-school/s on and off all the time, and played a teacher (magic ;)) there, some thoughts/ideas:

 

If you choose to try on a RP-sim:

- the tip of other posters to try on a family RP-sim makes a lot of sense, it will be much easier to get people to notice the existence of, and come to your school. Obviously, if you go that route, only choose a sim where the admins seem happy with your idea, see it as an enrichment for the sim, won´t over-meddle but be proactive in helping with it, like send notices out for you to tell their RPers about the school, send the weekly schedule, plus notices on spontaneous classes or other events as they happen, and ideally not just to their own sim but to the RP-groups too. As the number of child-players is less than that of grown-up-players, you need to reach more people to get a 'critical mass' of regular or casual players. RP-sim owners, sometimes admins, are usually in one or more RP-groups too and can, and should, post notices there, too, to attract potential child, parent, teacher players to the sim (and by default to your school) then. 

(Additionally, once you´re started with your project and have a place to play at, wether an own one or an existent RP-sim, write to the owners of the RP-groups, tell them about it, and see which ones will give you post rights to their groups, so you can post children/school-related RP-notices yourself (don´t abuse posting rights of course, most people regard more than 1 or 2 times a week as spam ;))

but

- if you go the sim-route, I´d set up your own group for the school, and get everyone related, children, parents, teachers, to join that group, and name it something independent of the sim.

Explain to the the sim-admins you approach, that you´d like to have that sim-independent group for the school, to 'keep your children-community together', in case the sim might be closed, so it won´t disperse and add to the perpetual revolving door you describe in your OP.

I think most sensible admins will understand that, and work on a solution with you that all parties can be happy with. Tell them additionally that you´re engaged with your project, and that apart from posting notices for the school as needed (if they won´t want to give posting rights for the sim main group to you, could be, since they don´t know you at first they might be wary, don´t take that personally, there are people who abuse posting rights), you´ll do the main work yourself (like posting on this subforum, writing info-NCs, being contact person they can send anyone interested in the school send to etc.), admins are busy people, they´ll love to have a nice thing going on for their sim -and- someone else to take care of it for the most part

________________

If you do a sim-unrelated school

- still try to contact a few family-RP-sims that don´t already have a school and offer them to send people who ask them for a school to you (have info-notecard with LM and everything prepared, so they can get an impression of your school and if they want their sim 'associated' with it quickly)

- if you won´t 'buy' (=be premium member and pay tier to SL) but rent a place for your school, make sure with the landlord that you either get the rights to put it in search with relevant keywords yourself or that they do it (I know some rental companies offer to do it for you for the 30 L$/week on top of the rent, which is the price you need to pay to LL, if it´s your own land too), ideally only take a rental where you are able to change the name of the parcel to something like 'Roleplay School', or the landlord will do it for you.

- unless it´s no problem for you financially at all, maybe ask on the Landforum on here, if there´s someone who´d give you land and some prims for your school

- see the point above with asking in RP-groups (Seeking Roleplay etc.) for posting rights

_______________________________

generally:

- it was a lot of fun (as a RP-school should be, nvm if 'real stuff' or not is being taught, it shouldn´t feel like a business neither to children nor teachers) even if (or because) it was small one-room-schools always, I´d say because everyone got to interact with everyone else

- make sure the people you get to engage as teachers, know that it´s thought to be fun for them too, not a second, unpaid, job.

Tell them that they are expected to come to classes they announce obviously -or- to notify as soon as they know they can´t show up, but that nobody expects from them that nothing might interfere with their classes,

make sure they know that they don´t have to do regular classes (unless they want to of course), but that it´s fine to say 'okay, I'll be an arts teacher, and I can do 2 or 3 classes this month, but I can only tell you when it will be on the monday prior to the class/a day before the class/whatever. There are people with unpredictable rl work/schedules who'd like to be engaged and you´d miss out on else.

- a RP-school on a RP-sim shouldn´t cost money from my POV, and I´m quite sure from most RPers POVs (unless the whole sim is a pay to play thing, then that´s different obviously) too, but if you pay for a plot or rental for the school yourself, there´s nothing bad about trying to at least break even by asking the players who use it to contribute. Personally I´d rather put up donation boxes/ask for help with tier/rental costs in notices, than to take fees for a RP-school, because the latter would exclude people who really can´t pay for it.

You might entice people who can and would pay with some sponsorship 'benefit' like a nice grouptag or a board that mentions the generous sponsors in the school. While there are people who could but just won´t ever pay for things they use just because, there are many who are generous enough to realize it´s not as easy for everyone to give a few L$ as it is for them and who will pay more than the average 'tip' to make up for some who really can´t and still should be there to make it a livelier environment for all.

- (just my personal opinion, like everything here! I´m aware there will be many equally vailid differing opinions!)

Don´t pay RP-teachers. You want people who do that because they enjoy to RP as teachers/with children (ideally both of that at once ;)), not because they want L$. If your school will be on a RP-sim, or if it will take off just great and you´ll get loads of donations/sponsors and have enough L$/space/prims for it, rather offer (or work together with the sim owners if they might offer it) free ore reduced-price housing for people playing teachers regularly (not as in every monday at 7pm sharp, but as in they are there to RP with the children/school related things/classes once or twice a week or whatever you deem ok.).

(All this since we´re in the Roleplay-subforum here. If your school will be a more professional thing, and you´re looking to hire real professional teachers to teach real classes, of course everything looks different. That again doesn´t mean that the teachers aren´t maybe professional teachers or whatever professionals in RL and might not teach real things in their classes, no loss in really learning some things in a RP class that might have value beyond the entertainment of the RP.)

-'Quality control' is certainly needed for this, as you say, but like you wouldn´t  RP-sim people to meddle too much in your school, do your teachers the same favour ;)  And it´s more important that you get a person to RP a teacher who makes their classes fun for the child players than that you get a person with perfect spelling and punctuation etc. (but I think you know that yourself :) and are on about the teachers' personalities and such with the quality control).

 

Long wall of text <.< but wanted to share, in case it might help, for all the nice children players/children avatars out there. I know it´s not easy for you often, and that many people are prejudiced in a lot of ways, I can only say that I met a handful of people who not only play children very well but are great people behind their avatars as well.

A thing like a stable going RP-school, and someone/s behind it with a genuine and continuous interest in it, could become a valuable 'place' for the SL children. Best of luck!

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