I teach amazing middle school students with special needs at a low income school. The scholars in my classroom have a wide range of disabilities and histories of trauma and can struggle with attention, self-regulation, and accomplishing academic tasks. Despite these challenges my students are resilient, motivated, eager to learn, innovative, and caring. I want to create an environment for them that helps nurture these qualities and bring comfort and joy to their school day.
Our school is building the leaders of our future by instilling social justice, restorative justice, STEM focused lessons, project based learning, technology, and culturally responsive teaching into the fabric of our classrooms.
My classroom has a student-led structure allowing for my scholars to be empowered in their learning. They learn to see their strengths and how their disabilities make them wonderfully individual. It has been a beautiful process to see them transform and shine as they learn to self-advocate, show empathy, work as a team, and overall enjoy their education!
It is my goal to teach my students to embrace their uniqueness and advocate for their needs. My dream for them is that they feel at home and empowered in their learning environment. Flexible seating is a crucial peace of this because it creates a space where students know their needs are respected and heard. It also conveys a clear message that the learning within the classroom is built FOR the students and encourages higher levels of agency.
Flexible seating is a valuable tool for students with challenges with attention, those needing increased movement, and for individuals that benefit from ongoing sensory input.
In this project I would like to create wide range of seating options that facilitates focus, team-work, creativity, and success.
The Wobble chairs I have requested are a fantastic alternative to the traditional seating at desks in a classroom. They allow for the student to participate with the rest of the class by remaining at their desk, but gives them the freedom to move their lower body and direct their energy in a positive way. One of my dreams for my classroom is to create a floor seating area for students to work on team projects in a creative environment. The gaming rockers and bean bag chairs will create this inviting space. This will also create a magical hideaway area for reading. This could be the key to encourage my students, who almost all have traumatic experiences with reading, to find comfort and joy in silent reading time.
Within this my students can learn what works best for them and use this knowledge to engage more deeply in their learning as they get older.
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