Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Musical Chairs

I'm taking a short break from filling my Rosh Hashanah orders to write about an interesting thing I heard from my sister yesterday.......

Today is the day that most kids FINALLY go back to school. (Can you tell that I am slightly overjoyed??) Our schedules and lives can go back to normal and we can start to turn our attention to Yom Tov preparations and menus. However, for a select few though, "Back to School" means "Back to Work." 

If you have been following me, you know that for the past dozen or so years I have been a teacher, and that this past June I said goodbye to teaching so I could focus more time on my growing company. I can't tell you how hard it is watching my fellow teachers return to their classrooms, it's kind of weird taking my son to school and feeling like I am not apart of it anymore.

So how does this tie in to what my sister told me? Well, as we were hanging out at my parents house last night, she had to rush home. Not only because it was her sons first day of Yeshiva (school) and she wanted him to have a good rest, but she needed to make sure that she saved her son a seat in the class before all the good seats were taken. 

Apparently, it's a "minhag" (custom) to save a seat in their child's new classroom by placing a card with their sons name on it on the desk. The next day the teacher and children will know where everyone is to sit because their parents have placed them.

There are a few serious issues with this that have me FUMING.
1) What happens to those children who's parents have not saved them a seat? How bad do they feel??

2) Who's to say where your child should sit within the classroom? A child spends more time at school with their teacher then at home. A child should sit where it's best for them to learn. Not where it is best for the parent.

My sister told me that she doesn't like doing it, but doesn't want her kid to feel left out, or to sit in the back of the classroom. Sometimes the back of the classroom is the BEST place for him/her. A classroom is a living organism that needs to work efficiently. Every place a child sits is maneuvered by those around him and the distance form the teacher. There are a variety of factors that come into play when sitting a student in a classroom.

3) The teacher/parent relationship must be based on mutual respect and open communication. By placing a card on the table and saying that this is where "MY" child needs to sit without consulting the teacher first, is not open communication, it's entitlement.

So if I was coming back to school tomorrow and I entered my classrom to see names on desks that were written by parents, I wouldn't take all the cards off the desks. Instead, I would just suffle all the desks around the room and when the parents would come that night for Back to School Night, I would watch them scratch their heads in confusion and SMILE.

What would you do?

1 comment:

  1. How ridiculous! Never heard of such a thing. It should be the teacher's decision where students sit to best suit their learning level, learning style etc, individual requirements (eg. vision), left/right handed, and the overall dynamics of the class. I also teach but high school so set places aren't really the done thing anymore but I wouldn't be paying any attention to that sort of thing if it was my classroom. My son's teacher moves them fairly regularly depending on their ability and what works in the class for the record.