This Monday was our school’s first day with our students. I had to prepare my classroom for fourth grade students instead of first grade students like I did last year.
This year, one of our special education consultants came to see us during our pedagogical days before students started school and talked to us about how students need to feel like they belong in their classroom and not like tenants in their teacher’s classroom for the year. She suggested that students work together to make decisions about how rules will be chosen, about rewards, where they feel they should sit in the classroom and even let them make decisions about the classroom layout, so that the environment makes sense to them.
So far, we have decided what our rules are, how students will be rewarded, decided on the class jobs that we will need, and I we even discussed how students should choose their desks at the beginning of the year.
This is working out. I see that there may be tweaking to be done concerning seating, I’ve had to be careful when guiding discussions, and I’m having to let go of some of my OCD compulsions, but overall, I am under the impression that students are feeling comfortable, welcome, and especially important and valued.
Because my classroom is not ready to be revealed yet, I will show you what my first grade classroom looked like before and after I got to it.
Since I don’t have a class reveal yet for this year, I will show you what my first grade class looked like before and after I got to it.