Mrs. Owens, our school librarian, has been doing some research on the Maker's movement. She has decided to create an area in the library where students can create things that they can take with them.
She has stocked shelves full of art supplies that she has to encourage more self expression for the students and to create a different feel for the library itself. It can be difficult to change the perceptions that have been in place for years and years.
While discussing the library with Mrs. Owens, I really got the feeling that she was wanting the library to be a gathering place for both students and teachers. I tend to spend a lot of my out of the classroom time in the library because I feel so comfortable sitting among all the books. I imagine that kids that don't like to read don't get that feeling.
While I don't have the space that the library does, I too try to create spaces of comfort (is that a phrase a thing?) where kids can feel like the room isn't all about content. Here is a picture of the area I created for #SaveComicSans, our ukulele club.
I let the students sit there as well when they are working or have a bit of free time to read or visit quietly. Unfortunately there isn't enough of that time already built in to the school day. It is really hard to build a community around content.
I have also brought in blankets for the kids to use when they want to. I have one class that beats feet to the room so they can get one. It is a pretty simple way to change their feelings of comfort in the room.
I am really pleased that Mrs. Owens is looking at her library and trying to make decisions that will positively affect its climate. I am hopeful that other teachers will notice and start thinking about it too.