The Perfect Seating Chart

 
        What goes into making the perfect seating chart?
       Likelyhood to disrupt classroom learning. Vision and hearing needs. ADHD. 504 plans. Effectiveness of group work. Efficiency of handing back papers. Troublemaker quarantine.
       Not until recent years did I include respect at the top of my seating chart  attributes.
       A quick word on my view of respect. I tell my students that they start the year with 100% of my respect. I respect them from the start, and they should respect me from the start. Why should they respect me? Not because I'm a teacher. Not because I'm in authority. They should respect me because I'm a person. A magnificent human being like each of them is.
       It is from this starting block that I let my students choose their own seats. "You know how you are. Do you tend to get 'Talks Too Much' on your report cards? If so, don't sit by your friends that you'll want to talk with. Choose wisely."
       And most of them do choose wisely. This year, I have only had to do two students. And both of those moves, I told them were temporary, that I want them to earn the spot back.
       Maybe you are thinking there is no way that will work in your classroom at your school. I get that feeling too. The desire to have control. But I am pretty certain that control and respect are not symbiotic. In order to have control, the teacher must withhold some respect for a lot of respect. And to give your students unconditional respect, the teacher must relinquish some control or a lot of control
       What I have found and am still finding is that the more respect I give them, the more they learn to self control. And self control always better and teacher control.
       We welcome your thoughts, ideas, and improvements.

Photo Copyright by Frankes (used with permission)



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