Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Refocusing in the New Year - Why I Rearranged My Desks

So, it’s no big deal. Teachers change desk arrangements all the time. We change seating arrangements, sometimes daily, depending on the group of students or the lesson we are working on. This really isn’t a big deal, right? Well, changing my desks this time was a big deal. I felt like I had to break this lull I had fallen into. Susie here, from Anchored in Reading, to tell you why I needed to change my seats to change myself. To save myself. To save education. 

Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but seriously, something needed done. Previously, my desks were all facing what traditionally deemed itself the front of the room. All students could see the ENO board as well as my desk. And, this is where the trouble began. All eyes on the front of the room, including my desk. And my chair. My really comfy teacher chair. And did I mention my desk? Where my computer sits containing emails beeping and blaring at me, taunting me, say ‘read me, read me now.’ I am weak. I have no willpower. Slowly, as the year progressed, I found myself sitting at my desk more and more. (Do you believe there are teachers out there with no desk?! I give them props!) It started with a quick minute as I was changing slides on a PowerPoint or PDF, that then led to a quick rest in my chair which was followed by a quick check of my email and then ended with me totally off task and not giving my students my undivided attention. I was transforming into that teacher. You know the one. The sitter. The email-checking-lazy-bones teacher. What was happening to me? I felt there was no excuse for a 30-something, pretty healthy, teacher to teach from her desk. 

Like a moth drawn to a flame, I was drawn to my desk. Fortunately, I finally realized I needed an environment change. I needed to distance myself away from my comfy chair and my emails that had to be read the second they arrived. I needed to refocus. New year, new me as they say. We always look at our kiddos to see what new year goals they need to focus on, but it was I, their fearless leader, who needed to refocus.
I really did like the last configuration. It worked well with my smaller intervention groups. 

My desk. Don't judge. It was in the middle of 'the move.'

Luckily, we had an in-service day after the start of the new year and I was able to rearrange my desks. My classroom is slightly larger than a shoe box, so I didn’t have many options. 

I am proud to say, though, that I now teach FAR away from my desk!

No desk, no chair, just me and my learners. 

Look at that runway! I have so much room to walk and talk and become more engaged with my students. 

There's my desk over yonder, far away from my temptations. 
My students' desks facing away from the front of the room.

My lonely desk. And chair that isn't as comfy as I remember it!

Sometimes it's difficult to reflect and truly look at what we are doing and how we can do it better, even when it's something as simple as a new room arrangement. Glad I took the time to refocus. 
 I feel like I’m back to my old self! I’m more in tune with what my students are doing and, as crazy as this sounds, the school has not fallen to the ground due to me ignoring my email. 

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