In my first three years teaching at the Hawthorne Brook Middle School in Townsend, MA I had colleague who taught 8th grade named Jay Resmini. Jay was a gifted educator who really connected well with kids. One of the awesome techniques I always remember Jay using was how tight knit his classroom was. I mean physically tight knit. The desks were in a “U” shape in his classroom, but those desks were all tightly packed together, literally touching one another. His students had no where to hide. If you were in Jay’s class, you had no choice, but to be engaged. I always admired that about Jay, that he made learning voluntarily mandatory.
The longer of I have taught, the more I have tried to use that model. Admittedly, I let that slip a little lately and noticed that my students started to work their way further and further away from the front of the room and move toward what I like to call the “Corner of Apathy.” So, I put up the caution tape and attached the note you see in the picture.
Kids laughed, but they get it. I ask us all as educators, presenters or anyone that is leading anyone, why do we tolerate those people that want to hide away from everyone else? Why do we allow for any kid, particularly, to get lost in our classroom?
I ask you to look at your space, think about any black holes of learning you make have where learning goes to die and rework the space, so you have all hands on deck!