My Room is Your Room

I am a big believer in the psychological and emotional power of physical spaces. The environment in which we learn impacts how we learn and the emotional experience we attach to learning. I have been working through the years to create a classroom space that offers students a welcoming, interesting place that makes them feel at home while also prompting them to engage in varied learning adventures. I did the research. I engaged in webinars and Twitter chats. I spent far too long on Pinterest. I found my intent to be supported by current educational theory. But, mainly, I just have a real personal attachment to spaces. Depending on how they are designed, I feel happy or inspired or threatened or intimidated. I need my students to identify their English class with emotions that empower them to learn.

I have spent a few years now designing this space. I've created reading corners, collaboration stations, gallery walls, student work displays - all with the intent of providing students with a sense of comfort, value, and engagement. I don't want them to feel like school is a system, an institution. That's not fair. I want them to feel like they are at home in my room, like my room is their room. Though learning often happens when we are out of our comfort zone, I don't think that means that students need to be uncomfortable.

I really like my classroom space. It reflects who I am as a person and as a teacher. All it's missing right now is the energy and thoughts of the students who will fill that space for the next ten months. I can't wait to share my room with them.

                               Space for reading, sharing, thinking, talking.

                               Space for reading, sharing, thinking, talking.

              View of gallery wall and collaboration stations with whiteboard tables.

              View of gallery wall and collaboration stations with whiteboard tables.