Monday, June 30, 2014

G is for Giving up my chair

Wow, this series is just flying by! Which means...summer is flying by as well.  I hope everyone is enjoying traveling, spending time with family and soaking up the sun!

Today I'll be talking about my teacher chair! I cross out 'my' because about mid year, a student declared (non-verbally of course) it was his chair.  This student enjoyed spinning and obviously my chair was the ideal choice to spin in.  Not to mention he could sneak a peak at the DVDs on the shelf, chew the erasers off my pencils and eat up VERY IMPORTANT sticky notes. (don't worry...I learned my lesson about leaving things where they are easy accessible).
Here is the chair just waiting for me on the first day back from summer.

After I acclimated to this child, let's call him 'Sir Spins A lot 1,' another student decided, "well that looks like fun!" Except, he was more reliant on someone else spinning him! This student enjoys music, which is convenient for him because if he sits in my chair, he can hear the music clearly without having to block out other classroom noises. This student we'll call, 'Sir Spins A lot 2.'

Once Sir Spins A lot 1 & 2 realized they both loved my became a balancing act to make them both happy for their break and sensory times.  I didn't mind my chair being held hostage by my students because I could use it as a reward and it kept me active in the classroom.  Then the desire for my chair spread to even more students! Almost every time I turned around a student wanted to sit in it, they wanted to sit next to me while I was in it and help me while I was working.  They wanted to even do their work at my desk! I can't so no to that! If they get their work done, I honestly don't care which desk they are sitting at.
Sir Spins A lot 1 & 2 in action! 
I ended up adding a yellow piece of tape around my desk and informed the room that my chair needed to stay behind the yellow tape, because they would go roller coaster crazy and take the chair for a joy ride around the room. By the end of the year, staff was even using the chair!

So let's be honest.  This chair isn't special.  It squeaks.  I am fairly certain it is lopsided and there is no telling how dirty it is, but under the maroon fabric you can't even tell.

After being booted out of my desk for three-fourths of the year, I have been I really need a my teachers desk? Seriously, I would end up spending 20 minutes every day after school just cleaning the dang thing off from the stacks of papers and items that piled up on it. For example:
This mess is a little excessive. One kiddo was having a bad day and I was the bad guy. He threw, pushed, and moved every item in my area resulting in the picture above. Now to reorganize everything....

I just want to thank Sir spins a lot 1 and Sir Spins a lot 2 for leading me on this path of decision making:
To keep my teacher desk or dump it?

I have researched lots of teachers' opinions on this matter and it seems to be a split decision.  I could totally use the extra space and I can reorganize and relocate things to make a no-desk decision.  I just can't decide!! Here are some links I've used to research thus far:
I would love to hear your thoughts.  Have you thought of dumping your desk? If you've done it, what are some Pros & Cons? Would you go back to a desk?  I guess I don't need to make the decision any time soon, since school is over a month away, but I would still like some input!

This post is part of my summer series: ABCs of a first year teacher.  
View all posts from this series
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  1. I love this because I had a similar experience! :-D I had a 5th grader come back from a behavior school. She demands quite a bit of attention and needs sensory time about every 2 hours. The problem was she was picky about what type of sensory activities to do. She also gets bored easy. Anyway, when she discovered that she liked my chair, I was so excited! That ended up being a daily sensory activity for her.

    A Tender Teacher for Special Needs

  2. Oh, as for the desk. I thought about getting rid of mine, but there are many things I need it for that I didn't think about in the beginning. Maybe look through your drawers and consider if those things would be better placed somewhere else. If you don't have a lot in your desk, maybe you don't need it! My other question would be.. where is the computer going to go? Obviously, sped teachers need a computer for IEP's!

    A Tender Teacher for Special Needs