For my first year teaching, and in a world where education has taken huge hits due to our current pandemic, I am lucky to have a class full of kids who are bright, energetic, and come to class ready to learn. Many of my kids seem to have learned to not take advantage of in-person relationships. They are friendly to others, seek to make the other kids laugh, and want to be engaged socially whenever they can. Others are still learning how to interact with others in a classroom environment. In addition, the range of knowledge coming into my first grade class is extremely variable. The needs of each student in their educational and social-emotional spheres are spread across a wide range.
Despite the different challenges that my wide-eyed students are facing in the realms of education and social-emotional learning, they face each new learning opportunity with eagerness to learn new things and seek to progress in their individual and collective journeys.
In our classroom, we learn in whole-class discussions, small-group work with "Teacher," table/partner "talk-abouts", and individual teaching moments with "Teacher." We learn visually, vocally, and creatively. The end goal: all-around personal growth and progression.
After limited exposure to a classroom environment during the past two years, many of my children are still finding it difficult to spend time in a classroom for all-day instruction. Right now, all of my students have access to a regular hard chair. We get up often throughout the day, but I am finding that many of my students would benefit from other seating options.
With the help of flexible seating, my hope is that my active and bright students will be better able to access improved learning through seating opportunities that will better focus their minds and bodies.
My belief is that options for seating will not only increase educational growth, but their social-emotional learning will grow as well. They will learn turn-taking, personal space, and have opportunities for choice.
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