Method & Theory

    When kids can move around
    Daniel Hanson

    Hello, everyone!

    I feel embarrassed admitting this, but several
    years of teacher, I still dont know when I should be
    letting students move around and when not to. I teach high
    school Spanish and my class does a lot of written work with
    the textbook. So, some students want to move around to work
    with others (their friends and buddies, sometimes their
    very close friends ). Some do it for the social element
    mainly. I remember in high school and I subbed in
    classrooms where teachers were okay with students moving
    around (like in math classes) and sitting with classmates
    to work on stuff. On the one hand, I can see how students
    like moving around because they want to socialize while
    they work. However, some students arent mature enough to
    work while they socialize and just end up socialize and
    sometimes getting rowdy. These same individuals usually
    take longer to finish and are usually waiting for their
    classmates to finish the work so they can copy. Should I
    just flat out tell them they cant move around during the
    class period? Do I just deny moving privileges from certain
    students, causing some to complain that thats not far that
    some students get to move around and they dont?

    I seriously cannot make up my mind on what my stance should
    be. Right now, I feel like some students feel like they
    have control over where they can sit in class during class
    work when ultimately, I should be the one with the last say
    as to where people can and cannot sit during class.
    (Obviously, I will have to give out detentions for students
    talking across the classroom because they cant go sit by
    their buddies.)

    Please share your thoughts.

    Daniel Hanson
    Public High School Spanish Teacher
    Atwater, California, USA