Our bright students come from blue collar families and live right outside the city limits of Pittsburgh. Our students primarily come from economically disadvantaged homes and many receive free or reduced price breakfast and lunch. Despite this, our students rise to the challenge in the classroom and in the community through volunteer efforts, participation in school activities and as mentors for each other. Our community suffered a devastating flood in 2004 which forced the district to temporarily shut down. Instead of enjoying the time off school, our students rolled up their sleeves to clean out homes and businesses around town and to deliver food and water to those in need. This is the way we do things at Carlynton. Our motto is "Community, Character and Excellence" and our students live up to this everyday.
There is a difference between equity and equality. Equality is giving everyone the same thing. Equity is providing access to the same opportunities and giving children what they need as an individual learner. One way to create equity is by providing options for student seating in the classroom. As adults, we create the most comfortable environment possible when we have to complete a task. Perhaps that means turning the lights down, putting on some music or shutting the door to our office to ensure complete quiet as we work. Why don't we provide the same opportunities for students as they work in the classroom?
"Fair doesn't mean giving every child the same thing, it means giving every child what they need." Rick Lavoie
I am hoping to provide a comfortable learning environment for my students with alternatives to our classroom desks. Floor cushions, bean bag chairs, up-lighting and area rugs will welcome my students and encourage them to kick-back, relax and learn. Some classroom desks will remain as I do have students who feel more comfortable using them but these items will allow those who don't to choose an option that best meets their needs.
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