What if one small change could handle most of the behaviour problems in your classroom?
It sounds like the empty promises of an internet pop-up ad. But in this case, “one quick trick” really works to mitigate most disruptions.
What’s the secret, then? It all comes down to the right seating plan. Keep reading to discover how the right seating plan can transform your classroom.
The Necessity of a Seating Plan
Believe it or not, many teachers do not have any formal seating plan. Instead, they let students pick their seats at the very beginning.
Unfortunately, this is usually the seed of many discipline problems. After all, students will tend to sit next to their close friends. And sooner or later, they will focus more on socialising with each other rather than doing their work.
You can always add a seating plan after the fact, but it can be tough to undo the damage after the class has started. That’s why we recommend starting everyone off with a seating plan on the very first day.
A Plan With Many Benefits
On the surface, a seating plan is straightforward. It has a distinct purpose: to promote student discipline within the classroom to help you to teach.
Interestingly, though, a good seating plan can have other benefits. If you follow some of our ideas below, you can use the seating structure to keep track of homework, assessment progress, and more.
That’s why you mustn’t dismiss seating plans as a fad or a frivolity.
What do you imagine when you think about a seating plan? Growing up, most of us had seating plans on a simple sheet of paper. This paper may have been posted to the classroom wall or safely hidden away in the teacher’s desk.
Nothing is inherently wrong with using paper seating plans. However, if you want to simplify things, we recommend that you explore some technological solutions.
For example, many seating plan options are built into learning management systems that you already have access to. That also makes seating plans easier for the faculty: instead of learning some brand new technology, they merely have to learn a new facet of something familiar to them.
To get the most out of the seating plan strategies below, you will need to use a technological solution.
Ready-Made But Versatile
There is a simple reason why some teachers don’t use seating plans: because they take too long to create! This is where the auto-generating features of an app come in handy.
If you need a simple seating plan, apps can automatically generate seating plans by the last name. Alternately, you can have certain apps completely randomise the seating charts so that people with similar last names aren’t always stuck close to one another.
The best thing about such apps is that you can make later adjustments on the fly. Once you know the students and their capabilities a bit better, it’s easier to decide who should (and who should not) work closely together.
Coordinating Multiple Classrooms
Many teachers and administrators think of seating charts as self-contained solutions. That is, a teacher develops a useful chart, and it never has much value outside of their classroom.
With an LMS or an app, you can coordinate information across multiple classrooms. For example, teachers can input tardies and other disciplinary issues into a single, coordinated system.
This lets you consolidate key information and dole out appropriate punishments as necessary. Such coordination can improve teacher relations while also keeping students on their toes!
Consolidate Your Own Work
Teachers could stand to learn the same lesson we try to teach our students: “work smarter, not harder.”
A seating chart shouldn’t feel like an annoying extra hoop to jump through. When done right, it can be a powerful way to save you a lot of time and effort.
For example, certain software lets you quickly scan and grade homework at the same time that you are checking attendance. This helps give the students the prompt feedback they need while ensuring you have less paperwork to deal with once you get home.
Placement By Performance
Quick: how well are your students doing in each class? Instead of checking your grades, wouldn’t it be awesome if the answer was right in front of you?
One surprisingly effective seating plan option is to place students by performance. This lets you track student performance within the seating software and change student location accordingly.
In addition to saving time, this allows you to place poorly behaved students upfront or with someone they can work with, giving them the best possible option to improve their grades.
Your Classroom Seating Plan to Tackle Poor Behaviour