I have a diverse population of students. The majority are ELL students. Most of my students come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, they have limited experiences. Many have focus issues and have a hard time sitting in the “hard plastic school chairs.” Our desks are heavy and cumbersome and are not easily moved to allow for flexible seating. Our district is being faced with economic cutbacks, thus making it difficult to request any type of flexible seating. I have used personal funds to purchase bean bags, to have a couch brought in, to buy pillows—all have been greatly enjoyed and beneficial for my students.
Children have a need to move around and to be safe doing so. They have sensory issues that inhibit their learning. As adults, we have options to optimize our work environment. Why shouldn’t students have the same options? If they need to stand, or rock or tip, they should be able to do so. Unfortunately, there aren’t funds, in the public schools, like in the private sector, to meet the needs of every child, yet we expect every child to learn. Giving students the option of flexible seating opens up the concept of a “safe and comfortable” environment to learn.
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