The “Can Do” kids were just getting used to their table mates in class when Miss Pat said she would be changing the seating arrangements.
Groans went up from a few of the kids and a few even said out loud, “Do we have to?”
“Yes, answered Miss Pat, “We have to!” Bobby raised his hand and asked, “Why, Miss Pat, why are you changing our seats? I like where I sit and who I am sitting with.”
Miss Pat smiled and said, “That’s just why I am changing seats.
Some of you like where you are sitting and who you are sitting with too much. There is a lot of unnecessary talking and sometimes I see some of you checking out the answers of the boy or girl sitting next to you. All that has got to stop. It interferes with my teaching and it keeps all of you from doing your best in class.”
Miss Pat began calling out names and changing who would be sitting at each table. She said,”Please don’t think that just because I am changing your seat, that you were the one doing something wrong. I just need to form other table groups.”
When all the seat changing was done, Bobby raised his hand and asked, “How come all the tables got changed but one.
How come everyone at Arthur J’s table got to stay together?” Miss Pat was quiet for a moment and than answered, “Because there was no unnecessary talking at that table since school started and everyone at that table paid attention to their own work and didn’t try to see what the person next to them was doing.”
Bobby thought a minute and said, “Does that mean if we don’t talk and pay attention to our own work we can sit with the people we were sitting with before our seats were changed?”
Miss Pat looked at the class and said, “Yes, if you all show me that for the next six weeks you are able to choose to be quiet and pay attention to your own work and not look at the answers that your table mates have, then we can go back to the way it was. However, everyone must choose to be quiet and mind their own work or we will not be able to change back.”
“But what if some kids don’t do the right thing?” asked Eulyn. “It is all about the class agreeing to do the right thing,” said Miss Pat. It is all about respecting each other and choosing to do what is best for everyone in class.”
The class grew quiet and then Hector stood up and said, “I choose not to talk to the kids sitting at my table when I am supposed to be listening or doing an assignment. I promise to keep my eyes on my own work and not look at other kids work.”
One by one, each Can Do” kid got up and said pretty much the same thing. Soon the whole class was standing.
Miss Pat clapped and said, “You are all learning how to behave in class. I am proud of all of you. You are making good choices and soon there will be no changing of seats!”