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IDEAL CLASSROOM BY MELANIE FACINGER

Introduction

My ideal classroom would be a comfortable and inspiring place that would be an

ideal and adaptable environment for all students to learn. My class would be filled

with innovative furniture, utilize technology, inclusive for all learners, utilize a co-

teaching model, and have a developed plan using trauma informed care. The

student body would be filled with diversity. Students would be of all different socio

economic status and cultural backgrounds. My ideal classroom would have plenty of

space for student to work and collaborate with their peers. Students need

collaboration time to work with each other and grow as independent learners.

Having innovative furniture will help support students ability for collaboration and

increase their independent learning skills. Classrooms should inspire students to

want to learn, not feel as though they are stuck in a boring daunting room that asks

them to be quiet and complete the work sheet. My classes will utilize project base

learning to inspire learning with long term connections to the curriculum. I have

some great ideas for my classroom and how I could inspire learning and foster

student development in the classroom.

Environment
My ideal classroom would be a large, spacious classroom, with a tranquil feeling to

supports students needs for progressive learning. My class needs enough room to

move freely around each other, have adequate shelving and storage space, and a

designated area set up where students can calm down if there becomes an issue in

the classroom. I would call it my de-escalation destination. The de-escalation

destination would be a corner of the room that can look semi private with a third

wall. The destination would be a comfortable and relaxing setting for students to

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de-escalate. Students who are struggling in the classroom either coping with

another student or need a break to gather themselves will be allowed some time in

the de-escalation destination to collect themselves and come back into the

classroom. The corner would consist of books, bean bag chairs and shakers toys to

help the students calm down and de-escalate from the situation. Having a de-

escalating center for students give them a safe place in the classroom to calm down

and put themselves back together. This will

eliminate the need to call an extra person to

remove the child for a walk to calm down room.

This will allow more focus on the class and teach

students ability to calm themselves. When

youth are in a triggered state, the learning

brain (higher functions of the frontal lobe) goes

offline (Radar 2013). Students will be allowed

to bring an item in from their house to make the corner more comfortable and build

a relationship to the corner. Students will only use this place if there is an

altercation with another student, or they are feeling too overwhelmed in the class.

The student will be allowed 5 minutes, based on need and situation, then will be

asked to rejoin the class. The de-escalation destination will serve as a coping

mechanism and a teaching tool for students to learn how to calm themselves

quickly and rejoin the class. Being able to cope with situations and calm down will

bring a serine feeling to the class environment.

Along with a tranquil feeling, the classroom will have adequate lighting and

decorations on the walls. The decorations on the wall should consist of the

students work, educational posters, and inspirational posters. The classroom

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would be filled with my students work that exceeds individual expectations. I want

to inspire my students to work hard and show them hard work pays off. One way I

can reinforce that hard work pays off is displaying student work that shows hard

work and effort. Students love getting their work displayed for everyone to see.

Having it displayed inspires students to work harder. Children can see for

themselves what teachers are doing: Teachers are saying childrens work is worthy

of public attention. They see what their work is being taken seriously. Displaying

their work tells them that their work is important and that grown-ups value their

work. (Weaver Dunne 2000) The educational posters around the class would be

examples of what I am teaching in the class. The posters will include lesson taught

from math and English. These posters will serve as reminders for the students to

reinforce the lessons. The posters will be grade appropriate with more complex

ideas for students in high grades and simplistic ideas for younger students. Inspiring

posters will include quotes of important activist that are meant to inspire students.

Education should be inspiring my posters will up lift my student and serve as a

positive reminder that education and hard work will lead to success. The lighting

would consist of lots of natural light. I would like big windows in my classroom for

the added siren mood in the classroom. The windows will allow lots of natural light

in and minimize the use of florescent lights in the classroom. Along with the natural

lights I will incorporate lamps to a relaxing feeling and a calming environment for

students. Adequate lighting in the classroom will contribute the calm atmosphere

and help students feel relaxed while they work and open their minds to education.

When students feel calm and relaxed they are more susceptible to working hard on

the assignment without stressing. Daylighting has been touted for its many

aesthetic and health benefits by designers and researchers alike. Scientists at the

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Lighting Research Center (LRC), in Troy, N.Y., for example, have reported that day-lit

environments increase occupant productivity and

comfort, and provide the mental and visual stimulation

necessary to regulate human circadian rhythms.

(Wymelenberg, K. V. 20014)

Technology is very important in education.

Since technology is such an important part of society it belongs in the daily lesson

plans. Technology can bring education to life, keep students engaged, and make

education interactive. CompTIAs study showed that 9 out of 10 students indicated

that using technology in the classroom would help

prepare them for the digital future. (Cox 2009)

Technology has been proven to increase retention rate in

students. According to TeachHUB.com students who are

challenged to use technology while learning increase their retention rate of 90% of

students. Technology individualizes students learning by the use of apps that

individualizes instructions for students to learn at their own pace. (cox 2009)

Technology occupies an important place within students lives. When they are not in school,

just about everything that they do is connected in some way to technology. By integrating

technology into the classroom, teachers are changing the way they used to teach (lectures

six hours a day) and providing students with the tools that will take them into the 21 st

century. (Cox 2009) Smart boards are a great way to incorporate technology that

will engage students and bring education to life. Students will be able to utilize the

smart board to engage in lessons by interacting with the smart board by touching

and manipulating the smart board for active learning. Smart boards help bring

education to life by projecting the diagram, stories, video, and etc. on the board for

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the whole class to see. Smart

boards have several different

apps for students to utilize

individually or several students at

the same time. Using smart

board in this manner creates an engaging environment for the students to learn in.

Technology, such as smart boards are proven to help raise scores by increasing

attentiveness in the classroom and engaging students for long term knowledge.

http://www.teachhub.com/technology-classroom-benefits-smart-boards . Since

technology is so important in the classroom, I would also want a chrome book for

each of my students to do independent work. Independent work is a necessary part

of education for the students to show how they can solve a problem and display the

knowledge they gained. Students can use chrome books as a part of individual

work such as research papers, online testing, and apps for individual student

support. It is important for students to learn how to work independently to help

prepare themselves for success beyond school. Technology can help prepare

student for a successful life in school and beyond.

The furniture in my classroom would be comfortable and innovative. My furniture

needs to be flexible for the students to easily move around in and adaptable for the

fidgety students who have troubles staying still. The Node chair is an innovative

piece of furniture that supports students need for movement. Node chairs have

wheels for students to wheel around the room freely for collaboration with other

students. The chair can also rotate for students to spin or wiggle slightly. Node

chairs are made out of a soft flexible plastic for comfortable seating, arm rests, and

a built in desk for students to use or put away when necessary. Node chairs allow

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students to move and collaborate with each other freely moving from one group to

the next as adults do when they collaborate. According to edutopia.com, it is shown

for students who use Node Chairs are more successful when collaborating with

other students and not feeling confined

working in only their desk. Students are

allowed to interact with each other and

remove themselves from situations

easily if they are being unproductive.

I would also like to set up areas

with couches and comfy chairs to sit for

silent reading. Comfort in the

classroom creates an environment where students can find themselves productive

and open to learning. A considerable body of research about environmental design shows

the positive effect comfort can have on learning, human productivity, and creativity

(Edutopia.org 2007). Collaboration is important for my classroom. Students should be able to

develop as learners by collaborating different ideas and learning from each other. Supporting my

students collaboration with innovative furniture is necessary. I would incorporate a genius

bar into the classroom. Genius bars is a table made out of dry erase boards where

two students can collaborate and work through the problems together. This would

be a time set up where one student who is lower is paired with another student who

is higher. The Genius bar allow students to work together and problem solve.

Allowing students to use dry erase markers and write on the boards to solve

equations and notes to solve problems or collaboration. From my experience I see

lots of students solve equations by writing on the desk anyways. Incorporating

Genius Tables would allow students to use this type of problem solving in daily

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classwork. This would help me with my efforts to encourage the students to consult

each other to help with problem solving, rather than to immediately refer to me.

(Engagetheirminds.com 2007) Teaching students to problem solve help prepare

them for their future as a successful, collaborative, adult.

Learners

The learners in my classroom would consist of students from different socio

economic backgrounds and ethnicities. Diversity is important because it exposes

students to other cultures and people of different socio-economic backgrounds,

developing open minded well rounded students. Students who are not exposed to

different cultures become unaware of the importance of a diverse population.

Incorporating student diversities in the classroom can help build community with in

the classroom, exposing students to new cultures and experiences. Teachers

should value diversity and they need to model this attitude to their students. When

people value diversity, they recognize and respect the fact that people are different

and that these differences is generally a good thing. For example, when attempting

to solve a problem, it is better to assemble a diverse team with many skills and

many different ways of approaching the problem(www.ned-ed.org). Even though I

find diversity so important my ideal classroom would also have a large population of

at risk students. I feel these are the students that are in the most need innovative

teachers who care for them and will do anything for them to succeed. There is such

a vast population of students who are considered to be under privileged or at-risk.

These are the students I want to work with and I want to help be successful. High

need students will keep me pushing to find new way to educate and inspire my

students for greatness. I feel all students are capable to achieve success. I want to

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help guide my students in their education, challenge them overcome barriers, and

supply resources for my students to succeed in and out of the classroom. I want

some students who struggle behaviorally to challenge me to stay knowledgeable on

how to help them. Behavior challenges will push me to keep learning about best

practices to help students be successful in the classroom. Keeping up to date will

ensure that I am constantly learning and evolving as a teaching adapting my

strategies and classroom plans. The academic level of my student should be

diverse as well. My ideal classroom would be filled with students of varying

academic levels. The variety of academic levels will help to challenge me to stay

knowledgeable on how to educate students and differentiate instruction. I need a

depth of knowledge and strategies for differentiation to help ensure all students

learn. I am a firm believer that all students can and must learn. Different degrees

of learning abilities will keep me pushing to differentiate my lessons that will best

support my students learning. I will apply many styles of teaching, examples, and

resources to ensure every child is learning and progressing. I will research best

practice strategies for teaching students success. My research will consist of

outside resources, classroom resources, instruction strategies, new technologies,

collaboration with colleagues and students, and an abundance of concepts and

scaffolding techniques to provide best practice for my students success in and

outside of the classroom.

3 Key aspects for teaching

One aspect of my teaching will be the use of the project-based learning model.

Project-based learning is a teaching style to keep students actively engaged in their

assignments and build knowledge and skills that last. Project-based learning is a

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dynamic approach teaching students to solve real world problem. This type of

learning actively engages students in the lesson developing and in-depth knowledge

of concepts. Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL)

can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other

benefits. (Edutopia.org) Project-based learning derives from the theorist Jerome Bruner who is

credited with the theory of discovery learning. Discovery learning is the theory that states we

learn best by doing. Project-based learning is the student taking ownership in their learning and

applying concepts into real life problems. This has proven to challenge the student to push hard

and solve the real life problem and take education into their hands, where they are directly

related to their success and achievements.

The Co-teaching model goes hand in hand with inclusion. The co-teaching model is

where two teachers come together, collaborate and develop a fundamentally

appropriate lesson plan to educate all students in the classroom. This will utilize the

strengths of two teachers to teach different strategies, provide extra resources, and

help in the classroom. Co-teaching allows me to set up centers and groups of

students with different abilities to help educate students in smaller groups and hit

targeting areas needed of education. Benefits of co-teaching students with

disabilities provides access to the general education classroom, which is the least

restricted environment for students to learn and develop socially and live a fulfilled

life style. Another benefit of co-teaching is allowing all students access to special

education resources, even if they are not identified as needing special education

services. The co- teaching model allows greater instructional intensity and

differentiation. Co-teaching in the classroom benefits al students with more

instruction and allows more help to students who are struggling academically.

There are a variety of different co-teaching strategies to follow that can be

implemented for best practice in educating students. One model is where one

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teacher teaches and the other supports. Second is called parallel teaching, two

teachers teach separate groups at the same time. The thirds is called Station

teaching, where stations are set up and students rotate between stations learning

new material. Fourth is called Alternative teaching. This is where one teacher takes

a small group and provides instructions, different from what the large group is

receiving. The fifth is team teaching. This is where both teachers teach the same

lesson to the whole group, taking turns between sentences and concepts. Being

able to implement different styles of co-teaching will provide new resources and

techniques for students to receive best teaching practice.

I want my students to feel loved when they come in my classroom. I want one

aspect of my teaching to be nurturing. My students should be nurtured

educationally, socially, and mentally. Nurturing is defined as to care for and

encourage growth and development. My classroom will encourage students to grow

and learn to become independent learners. I will nurture students though my

teaching techniques and implementations by providing resources and guiding my

students in their growth educationally. Every part of my classroom is intentional to

supply students with the best education tools and supports to develop students in

their education. I will show the students I care for their wellbeing by engaging

students in conversations, listening when they have a problem, showing patience,

and love toward every student. I will nurture my students education by utilizing

best practice and implementation strategies. I will nurture my students emotional

health by supplying students with coping strategies to implement when they are in

duress. My students education will go beyond academics I will also educate my

students to regulate their emotions and display appropriate reactions to stimuli.

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This will come with understanding, listening, guiding, collaborating with parents and

student, and showing my student unconditional love for who they are.

Trauma informed care is another aspect of my teaching. Trauma informed care also

is related to nurturing my students. Trauma is a neuro-developmental insult and

impacts the development of the brain. A youths brain/body that develops within

the context of trauma can be more easily triggered into survival brain by trauma

reminders or triggers even when there is no actual threat. When youth are in a

triggered state, the learning brain (higher functions of the frontal lobe) goes

offline rendering them unable to learn and be successful in the classroom. (Radar J.

2011) Implementing trauma informed care in my classroom will teach my students

the necessary tools to cope with adversity and develop appropriate coping skills,

emotional responses, and techniques to be successful in the classroom. Trauma

informed care is necessary by giving the students a person to rely on, trust, and

show them compassion, which they probably have not been shown before. This will

allow my students to take steps toward successfully surviving in school and learning

their worthiness in and outside of the classroom. Trauma refers to extreme stress

that overwhelms a person's ability to cope. It can be a single event, a series of

events, or a chronic condition such as childhood neglect or domestic violence.

Trauma-informed care (TIC) is an intervention and organizational approach that

focuses on how trauma may affect an individuals life and his or her response to

behavioral health services from prevention through treatment. (Trauma-

Informed Care 2016) The trauma informed care model will be useful in my

classroom by being able to identify when my students are responding adversely

because of trauma they have gone through and utilizing my training to help my

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students cope with situations. My trauma informed care studies will benefit my

students environment by showing my nurturing style and adapting my lessons

to benefit my students for success.

Philosophy Practice

My philosophy on teaching is that all students can and will learn. This model will be

implemented by utilizing an all-inclusive model of education in my classroom.

Inclusion in my classroom will benefit the diversity and nurturing aspect in my

classroom. Inclusion is where students with and without disabilities are in one

classroom. General education teachers are forced to search for new techniques to

teach all students regardless of ability. The inclusion classroom is beneficial for all

students, not just students identified as needing special education services. All

students learn differently teachers are now forced to differentiate and utilize

techniques that will help all students learn. Classrooms are filled with a variety of

abilities. Teachers utilizing a variety of teaching strategies to help educate students

with IEPs will also help students who are not identified as need special education

services. Inclusion forces all teachers to find strategies needed to educate all

students regardless of abilities or lack thereof. Inclusion helps students who are

labeled with a disability gain the social aspect that was previously denied by

segregated classrooms. The inclusive classroom will pull together my classroom

strategies, teaching styles, design, and environment by implementing best

strategies for all students to learn and be successful I the classroom regardless of

abilities. I will scaffold my lesson and incorporate outside resources to benefit my

students. Inclusion help build the social aspect of love, nurture, and diversity in my

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classroom exposing students to different caliber of abilities building their

acceptance of all students. Most people are not accepting of other because the lack

of exposure. Exposing my students and teaching them how to work with everyone

will build a loving nurturing environment of acceptance and learning. The strategies

used for students with abilities will also be used with students who need more

guidance. Inclusion does not only benefits students with identified disabilities but

also students who might need extra resources.

Another aspect of my teaching philosophy is collaboration amongst teacher to

student, students to student, and teacher to parent. Activity engaging and

collaborating with students and parents, contribute to the success of my student in

the classroom by engaging students and families in the development of their

education and building a strong foundation. Utilizing techniques implemented at

home, language used, acknowledgement of culture, and building relationships will

allow me to more effectively teach my students and play a vital role as an educator

who inspires their students. Collaboration is also important between students. Part

of learning is being able to develop deeper understanding and collaboration with

peers. Students learn best from other students. If I can take that idea and apply it

in the classroom with adequate time to collaborate then my students will exceed

expectations and overcome all barriers. According to Cornell University

collaborative learning is based on the view that knowledge is a social construct and

involves four basic principles. First, the learner is the primary focus of instruction.

Second, interaction and doing is the main focus. Third, working in groups is

important for progression in education. The fourth consists of the idea of structured

approaches are necessary to develop a solution to real world problems.

Collaboration in my classroom can be either student to student or in groups of more

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than two students. Collaboration is important in developing education. As adults

we are told we need to collaborate with colleagues to grow into our profession.

School is the career path of students at the time and collaboration is just as

important for them to develop the appropriate social skills of working with each

other and it increase their ability to problem solve real world situation, directly

relating to life outside of the classroom. Collaborative learning is based from the

theory of Active Learning by C. Bonwell. Active learning is where students

participate in their learning process and are engaged by doing something instead of

passively listening.

Another philosophy of my teaching would be challenging. Students should be

challenged to make gains. If educators keep watering down the instructions then

we lower the expectations and not challenge our students. Having high

expectations allows me to challenge my students and set them up to overcome

barriers and reach high standards. I feel all students can and will learn, I will

achieve high standards regardless of the abilities or lack thereof. The high

expectation might be different between students depending on their abilities but I

will never stop challenging them to make sufficient gains in the classroom. My goal

as an educator is to prepare, challenge, and inspire my students to succeed beyond

expectations. I will challenge my students to overcome barriers and learn

instructional material by providing best instructional practice for the individual

student. I will inspire my students to keep set goals, persevere, and stay focus until

they have reached their desired goal. Too many students do not set goals for

themselves and are contempt with mediocracy. I want my student to know their

potential, realize their worth, and keep trying to succeed above and beyond what

they see around them. I will inspire my students by speaking positivity at all times.

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I will speak positivity into their future, encourage, and show my students how

amazing they are and what they can achieve. I will not allow my students to give

up. I will teach my students to persevere and learn how to overcome barriers so

students can be successful no matter what is standing in their way. I will teach

them to overcome barriers by talking and discussing what steps can be taken to

achieve success. The student will play a vital part in the collaboration to be a part

of the solution. Having students apart of the solution will help students learn how

dictate their own success. My philosophy is all about the child and what I can do to

help the child succeed in and out of the classroom beyond anyones expectations.

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