I have a problem. I need to make some new seating charts over the weekend. It’s time to change things up. So here’s the issue. Between the kids that can’t see, the kids that need to be up front to focus and the ones that just want to be up front, there’s not enough room.
Seating charts are always tricky. I’m always asking myself who would work well with whom, which friends to a keep apart, how far can I put the talkers away from each other, which smart kid can I pair with a not-so-smart kid, and so on. Seating charts are a regular part of every teacher’s classroom management. When I teach my Pre Calculus classes, I do let them select their seats. At that point, they should be mature enough to make a wise seating choice. But to make sure, we do have that conversation. But with my current Algebra 2 classes, seating charts and their change-ups is a regular part of the gig.
One positive is that the kids that need to be up front to focus and do better, realize they need to be up front and want to be up front. I think it’s great that they recognize this and want to do well. But I still need room for the kids with vision issues.
One class period this week I had one student sitting by my computer so he could see what I was writing on the Promethean Board. He can watch the computer screen and see what I’m writing as it’s happening, within 2 feet of the screen. That same class period, I had two students standing by my front counter, off to the side, taking notes. One had forgotten his glasses. The other has glasses, but they are broken and she needs to order new contacts.
There are a lot of kids that want to do well and like sitting in the front. It’s easier to see, hear and participate. I only have a few kids in each class that need to be separated because they can’t resist talking to each other. For the most part, that’s a minor issue.
So who do you put in the back? My rationale has been to put the kids that I trust back there. Also, the ones that are frequently truant get relegated to the back. If you’re not going to be here every day and take your education seriously, you don’t get a primo spot.
It’s encouraging that there are so many that want to be in the front. But what I really wish is that these kids with vision issues could get the glasses they need so they wouldn’t have another of the many obstacles to success in front of them.