As a teacher in a low-income, highly diverse school district, my students are faced with a myriad of disadvantages both in and out of the classroom. Despite the many challenges they face, I want to provide my students with authentic and meaningful language-learning experiences.
My students are enthusiastic, creative, and love to tackle new challenges independently and collaboratively.
From the minute they walk in the door of my classroom I focus on their potential and growth. I may not be able to control their home lives, however, I want to provide them with the most positive experience possible during the school day. By doing this in an engaging way, I hope to inspire even our most resistant learners to continue on a path of academic excellence.
Current research suggests that student choice elevates student engagement and increases learning. Students feel empowered by having some degree of choice and control over their environment. Flexible seating allows students to choose where they work and with whom. It also allows them to change their location and positions as needed. It is developmentally appropriate for middle school students to be standing, laying, and moving, and traditional classroom seating does not facilitate these needs. My aspiration is to make our classroom a place where everyone feels comfortable and can be successful in their learning environment.
With this in mind, I have a vision for our classroom to offer alternative seating so students can sit, stand, lay and make choices to help them focus their attention in the best way possible.
An uncomfortable student is a distracted and unproductive student. Flexible seating encourages students to find their best spot to stay calm, focused and productive. This benefits all students but can be particularly helpful for students who have ADHD, ADD, and ASD. Many flexible seating options stimulate students’ sense of touch. This type of stimulation can help children focus and process information.
I am working with custodial staff in the building to secure tables that can be raised and lowered to create standing areas and ground seating.
The carpet squares and lap desks will be used to make ground seating more comfortable. The bistro tables and stools will mimic a collegiate study environment, where students can work more intimately and focus more intently with their groups. I will also leave desks in my room for students who prefer traditional seating.
Flexible seating will facilitate a more active, engaged, enthusiastic, and relaxed room of students, increasing student productivity and ownership of their learning.
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