In our low-income/high poverty school district, the students in my class are faced with several challenges both in and out of the classroom. They live in a city that is infamous for drugs and other crimes and is often on the news. Many people automatically attach stigma and prejudice when they hear the city name because too many times the successes of the residents do not get the recognition they deserve. To combat the many challenges they face, I am looking to provide my students with opportunities to engage in creative and meaningful learning experiences.
The class I have this year is smaller in size but in greater need of support.
Many of the items I had from teaching my previous students were not appropriate for this new class of students. I want to make my classroom environment warm and inviting to help my students not only feel comfortable but to help them become engaged and active learners.
My students have various sensory and attention issues that sometimes make it difficult for them to sit for more than a couple minutes at a time. Most of our learning does not take place with the students sitting at desks. One of the things I have learned about teaching young students with who is on the autism spectrum is the importance of flexibility and floor time. Unlike my previous teaching positions I can not teach from the front of the room because my students have joint attention issues and work best I am closer to them at their eye level.
My students fell in love with a similar couch when we were in summer school last month.
During summer school, our class was at a different school. The teacher whose room we used had a couch she had funded through donors choose and my students gravitated towards it almost immediately. I would sit on the rug next to them and read stories. When it came to writing, a couple of my students would bring a clipboard and sit on the couch to work. For the four weeks, we used that classroom, not an hour went by when someone wasn't sitting on that couch.
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