- The boys outnumber the girls two to one
- There are six class clowns (and only four corners)
- It's the end of the day and the students and I are all tired
So earlier this week, four of my six "spirited" students were taking up the four corners, and one was in the middle of the room, surrounded by the quiet kids. That left me one more, very energetic, extremely intelligent, highly distracting boy. I couldn't figure out where to put him. I moved him all over the room, very strategically, of course, trying to figure out the perfect place for him. He just didn't fit anywhere! Finally, I was just tired of trying to strategize, so I moved him to the desk on the side of the room--the one that is purposefully isolated from the rest of the class. It worked, so I actually considered keeping him there, until . . .
The next day. He came to me and begged me to put him back with his peers. I said, "Billy (not his real name), why don't you show me where you can sit without getting into or causing trouble." I handed him my seating chart. He looked at it. He sat in his desk. He studied, scrutinized, even strategized.
Within a minute, he came back to me with the chart and said, "If you move this student here, this student here, and this student here, I can sit here." He seated himself in the front row, closest to me and moved all his distractions (and followers) to places where they would likely be okay as well. Then he said, "Man, this is like chess or something!" (can I get an AMEN?!)
And he's been better ever since!
Ya gotta love 8th grade boys. (In a totally teacher/student sort of a way, of course!)