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The other day, I don't remember why, we moved our desks. Instead of 6 groups of four, we ended up in two groups of 12. At some point during the day, my students asked me to leave the tables in two groups of 12. I took their request lightly, and began to dismiss it. But they pleaded, because they really enjoyed the new layout of the room. They began to support their request with strong reasons, and I relented. The desks stayed where they were, and have been like that for the last couple of days.
It's their room too. I came to that realization that it can't always be my way, I have to let them own their classroom. When I speak to my students, I make sure that I say "our classroom", but I believe my words speak louder than my actions. I am certainly not a dictator, but I know now that I could loosen the reins a little more.
We have to allow our students the chance to make decisions. As difficult as it may be, in this time of standardized testing. We have to allow them the chance to be part of the decision-making process. As the school year progresses, I am going to make a conscious effort to truly make it "our classroom."Letting them decide the layout of the room was a big step for me, but I am loving it. They were right, there is more space.:)
Originally posted on "Diary of a Public School Teacher"