Each year, I teach 100+ motivated, energetic, and eager-to-learn 7th Graders. They are a diverse bunch, but for each of them I have the same goal: to help shape them into the future leaders of America.
We live in a fast-paced world: a digital age.
Nowadays, with information so easily accessible (always just a tap or click away), keeping our inquisitive students engaged in the material and in their education is paramount. As educators, we are constantly evolving, adapting to meet the needs of our students. For me and my students, this translates into keeping the classroom experience as real and authentic as possible.
This is why I'm asking for your help to help me help them!
Each year, my students ask me why schools are the way they are -- seats in rows, tons of notes, mindless busy work -- and I empathize. I remember sitting in 7th grade not too long ago, myself. In the spirit of maintaining authenticity, this is not the real world.
Sitting complacently while things are not okay has never been my forte.
Therefore, I've spent the past couple years listening to their voices and changing their experiences. Most recently, changing the classroom experience has come in the form of flexible seating.
According to the article, "Why the 21st Century Classroom May Remind You of Starbucks," Ms. Kayla Dezler, a second grade teacher in North Dakota, explains the necessity of flexible seating: "If we take a look at classrooms over the past 70 years, we are seeing the same type of learning environments, year after year; the world is changing, yet our classrooms are remaining much the same. Revitalizing space is a straightforward way to let students exercise choice in the learning environment and find academic success on their own terms."
I've already purchased several bean bag chairs, comfortable stools, and carpets to "spice up" the classroom and create a more welcoming environment; these small changes have made an incredible impact on the engagement and excitement students bring to my classroom.
To finish my project, I am seeking two small couches and a coffee table to finish the flexible seating selection in my classroom, which sees 120 students annually. These pieces of furniture will provide my students with a comfortable place to indulge in independent reading, dive into in creative writing, and work collaboratively with their peers.
We've got two weeks until the school year begins, and I'd love to have everything ready for the kiddos from Day 1!
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