#celebratelu: Creating the space

Celebrate with Ruth Ayres Writes …. because we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get.

I first learned about the idea of querencia from Writing Toward Home, Georgia Heard’s sublime book inviting writers to write, where she explains it this way: “In Spanish, the word querencia describes a place where one feels safe, a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn, a place where one feels at home. It comes from the verb querer, which means to desire, to want.”

From September through June, the place where I find querencia is my classroom – it’s where I want to be, where I feel most at home, for the work I do there defines who I am.  The last week of August is always given over to unpacking last year’s classroom and preparing it for this year’s kiddos – and it is one of my favorite tasks ever.  Because, as I prepare our learning space, I am hoping that it will be also be where fifty new sixth graders feel their querencia lies for the school year ahead: their home base, place of comfort, place they want to be.

In setting up my pods of desks, I thought about all the talk and activity that would transpire there:

In setting up our classroom library, I imagined the way our books would circulate – joyfully passed from one reader to the next:

While putting aside a space for conferencing, I could hear the important book talk and writing talk that I would be privileged to be a part of:

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And in setting up my student’s bins, I thought of all the organizational learning this year would also come to mean:

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Arranging our easel space for mini lessons and conversations is my favorite thing to do – this space is really the heart of our classroom:

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Our walls await the learning we will do together, so they are mostly bare, but our bulletin boards hint at what our first week of togetherness might bring:

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And putting together my corner of our room filled me with anticipation for all that will unfold in the year ahead:

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Our classroom space, a place of our querencia, is ready for another school year…and I celebrate that!

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7 thoughts on “#celebratelu: Creating the space

  1. I love Georgia’s idea of querenzia, have had students write about theirs. This time before school is a favorite time for me, and I love hearing your imagination of future times as you create the spaces. I’m glad your boards are empty, seems important to allow that invitation as students come into the room. Enjoy these final days!

  2. “…their querencia lies for the school year ahead: their home base, place of comfort, place they want to be.” You have created a magical space. Thank you for the close up look into your classroom. I really appreciate seeing the care and thought you put into each nook and cranny. Creating that querencia.

  3. It’s fun to see how you create a safe haven for the Smithlings who’ll be entering this space soon. Of course, this is my favorite part: “In setting up our classroom library, I imagined the way our books would circulate – joyfully passed from one reader to the next:” Books joyfully passed! It doesn’t get better than that. Happy new school year, Tara!

  4. Thank you for sharing …a place of querencia… I can see from your words and photos how safe and at home your students feel there. Heart-warming. Strength-building.

  5. I will have to look for Writing Towards Home. Thank you for sharing this reminder to make our classrooms safe spaces. I think I will walk into the library space on Tuesday looking to see if it is a safe home and working to make it so.

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