As a teacher in a low-income/high poverty area, I know they crave attention, motivation, and inspiration. They are kind, talented, passionate, and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. The state may criticize our district for low test scores, but they do not know that some of my students speak two languages, love to sing, rap, draw, write, skateboard, or dance.
My students face adversity on a daily basis.
Their friends count on them to be there, their laughter can brighten the darkest day, and they may or may not have a secret addiction to Netflix. They participate in sports, wonder about their future, take care of younger siblings, and work long hours after school in order to help contribute to their family. My students are kind, thoughtful, respectful (most of the time), and diligent. They show up every day and try to be the very best version of themselves that they can be.
There is a lot of research emphasizing the success of alternative and flexible seating arrangements in classrooms. Classrooms that offer flexible seating options (such as bean bags, high-top tables, stools, etc) have proven better attention/focus, less restlessness, and increased classroom participation.
In today's classroom, students are expected to sit in the same seat for close to 6 hours per day.
This can become boring very quickly, and cause students to disconnect from the class. With flexible seating arrangements, students have the option of switching up their routine by rotating through different seating options.
Flexible/Alternative seating is seen more commonly in the elementary schools, but I think it is just as important at the secondary level. We need to create lifelong learners, and if they're comfortable, they will be more willing to buy-in and remain engaged in the classroom.
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