April 3, 2017 by HCDE-Texas
As a teacher, I often battled with stale spots in the back of my classroom. As much as I tried to walk around, I found that my students in the back of the class would lose touch with the classroom culture and feel more isolated from the front of the room. One day, to keep tabs on the back of the class, I decided to teach while standing on a table instead of just standing by the whiteboard. I originally did this to better see the kiddos in the back of the room. The unexpected outcome, however, was a highly engaged classroom!
Changing perspective helped me to better engage with groups of students that I couldn’t quite reach in my original approach. This change also invigorated my students by giving them a new way to see and interact with me.
While standing on a desk is probably not advisable for safety reasons, you can change your classroom’s perspective by moving your desk somewhere else, changing the orientation of student desks, or inviting your students to change the way that they are sitting in their chairs. The possibilities are endless, and the rewards are worth it.
(Contributed by David McGeary, curriculum director for digital education and innovation, HCDE’s Teaching and Learning Center)