I love that my students come from very diverse backgrounds and cultures. My school represents so many different countries around the globe. We learn so much from each other. We have many students that have English as their second language. I have students who were born in foreign countries and moved to the United States as babies or toddlers and have never experienced a school setting and have no English skills before entering kindergarten. Many of my EL students are behind academically and socially and have to work really hard just to catch up with the other students. They want to learn and do well and are so proud of themselves when they meet their goals. I had a student a few years ago who learned English and how to read at grade level in just one year of living in the United States. I was so impressed with him and when I told his mother this during parent teacher conferences she told me that her son was now teaching her English and how to read! It is moments like this that really make me so proud to teach the students at my school.
Flexible seating in my first/second grade classroom will give my students a choice in how they learn best. The different seating options, wobble chairs, floor seats, and balance balls, gives them power over their own learning and their unique learning style. I have taught first grade for seven years and I have always allowed students to choose different spots in the classroom to complete their work. I have noticed that students are more excited and more engaged in their class work just by giving them a choice. By adding flexible seating options and not just sitting at tables or on the floors I expect that my students even be more excited and focused because they can choose something different every time they complete their work in the classroom. I also believe that with flexible seating in my classroom it will help students collaborate and build a sense of community together as well as allow them to practice problem-solving skills. The bottom line for me as a teacher and as a parent is that I want every child to feel comfortable and happy when they are learning.
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