I missed an opportunity today. First day back. New semester. New students.
I read somewhere once that you should give students directions on where to sit when they enter your room on the first day. Either a table/row or seat number. Though they say they like to choose their own seat. The article stated – it removes stress for them on the first day.
Hmmm. They enter the room, pause, get their bearings, scan the room to see if they know anyone. Where to sit, who to sit with, who to not sit with…and it wasn’t just my 9th graders. It was my 11th/12th graders as well. These were all new students, save a few from homeroom, none of them had ever been in my classroom before.
I watched it all. day. long. I had never payed attention to it before, but after reading that – I failed to have a seating plan in place when they entered. The entered the room. Paused. Scanned the room. I could hear their thoughts – “Who do I know? Where should I sit? Who do I sit with? Who do I not sit with?” And I was sad for some of them. I missed an opportunity. I won’t miss that one again.
I’ve already sent myself reminders prior to the beginning of next school year – to make sure I have a plan in place. I had my tables marked, all I had to do was direct them to the mathematician labeling their table.