Opinions on "sitting tall"

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by DTM, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. DTM

    DTM Rookie

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    Dec 4, 2006

    Hi Everyone,

    I wanted to get your opinion on how much of a stickler you are (or aren't) about having the kids "sit tall" (feet on the floor underneath their desk, chair pushed in, tall posture). I have some kids that enjoy "sitting on their feet" and others that slump to one side of their desk or the other. Most of them are really good, hard-working kids, so I don't know how hard I should be on them about sitting up straight when they are at their seats.

    I've heard opinions on both ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, the classroom "looks better" when all the kids are sitting up straight, feet on their desk (and it's easier for me to navigate without having to remind the kids to push in their seats). On the other hand, I've had some kids who are better workers when I've offered them some flexibility on their posture and I've also read/heard that not all kids are comfortable with "sitting up straight".

    What do yo think? If you do prefer your kids to "sit tall", how do you go about enforcing this with the kids?
     
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  3. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    I am kind of on the fence about this one. I don't strictly enforce "sitting tall", because I have noticed many of my children have favorite "hard working" positions that they can sit in and still get their work completed without distracting themselves or others.

    That being said, I don't let them put their heads on their arms/desks while they are reading for class or working...to me, that is too relaxed and they often aren't paying attention to their work.

    I do make them sit with their knees under their desk, simply because my kids love to sit strangely on their chairs, and the combination of chairs pushed out and legs sticking out everywhere is dangerous for me and the other students. I struggle with this the most....a lot of them try to kneel on their chairs or put their legs through the back of their chairs and basically kneel on the ground.
     
  4. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    If they are working I don't care how they do it, sit, stand, lay on the floor etc. Whey they aren't working then I will remind them to sit up and put their feet on the floor etc.
     
  5. worrywart

    worrywart Companion

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    Dec 4, 2006

    I let mine sit in a way that is comfortable for them as long as it isn't disrupting class, or causing them to not be able to do their work.

    As a parent, I would like my child's teacher to accommodate their quirks etc. if possible, and I consider this to be one of those things.

    Good luck!
     
  6. NCP

    NCP Comrade

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    I also teach second and I am not strict on it at all. As ctopher said, as long as they are working. I even had a big theraball as a chair for awhile in my room. The kids loved it!
     
  7. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    It's important for kids to be comfortable in order to learn, but some postures are just disrespectful. When I am teaching, I expect students to face the front and not use their arms/hands to hold up their heads. And, as everyone else has stated, I try to avoid legs and feet sticking out everywhere just for safety reasons. Overall I am not a huge stickler, especially during individual work time, as long as it is safe and not bothering anyone else. I wish I had some carpet or comfy chairs in my room!
     
  8. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    I don't let kids rest their heads on their desks or their arms. I can't stand it when they look like they are sleeping! I decided not to worry about it if kids have their feet tucked underneath themselves on their chairs. I have several who sit this way, and are totally paying attention. It makes them a little taller, but so far it hasn't bothered anyone behind them, so I let it go.
     
  9. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Dec 5, 2006

    I teach Kinder now, but about 5 years ago I was teaching first grade and one of my students did his best work with one foot standing on the floor an done knee resting on the chair.

    It looked odd, but I just put his desk where it didn't bother anyone and let it go. :)

    Kelly
     
  10. 101dalmatian

    101dalmatian Companion

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    I let mine sit anyway they like as long as it's not disruptive to those around them. I even let some sit on the floor in front of the class during instruction. During centers I allow them to sit anywhere they like as long as they are working.

    One year I had a student whose bottom never saw his seat, he was always on standing or sitting on his feet.
     
  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    This is a battle I chose to let slide when I first started teaching. I had a child who literally did everything (including almost standing on his head) but he did his work. I moved his desk away from the others. When he was working a test he would often walk around his desk. His grades went from Ds and Fs in 3rd, to honor roll in 4th. He told me he never got nervous in tests like had before. Some kids just need to move.
     
  12. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I wasn't very syrict about it ither as long as they were in their chair it better be "4 on the floor" meaning no tipping in the chair. Other han that as long as their work was getting done & like others not bothering anyone else!!!
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This is my philosphy as well. There are so many battles to fight every day, and this one just isn't important enough for me. The students must be respectful of the personal space of those around them and must demonstrate respectful listening when others are speaking, but "sitting tall" with feet on the floor and knees under the desk doesn't happen often in my room.
     
  14. AbbyR

    AbbyR Rookie

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    As long as their legs are not in the aisles and about to trip me or someone else, I don't care how they sit.
     
  15. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I'm a all four chair legs on the floor person. I also like for them to not put their heads on their desks. The only time I ask them to sit on their pockets is when we are on the floor. If they aren't on their pockets, people behind them can't see.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The way my grade 7 and 8 boys wear their pants, they can be on their pockets but not on their bottoms:D
     
  17. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I normally don't care how the students are sitting as long as the person behind them can see the board (if need be) and as long as they aren't distracting anyone else. In the school I'm in this year, though, the admin. is REALLY strict about how the students are sitting and many times the principal or vice principal has come into my room after walking by and asked students to sit properly. It really bothered me at first, but now I've basically just given in and I remind them to sit with their legs under their desks and feet on the floor. Even now, though, every once in a while someone will come in to speak to child about how he/she is sitting.
     
  18. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I said the same thing...sit on your backpockets...I loved it when a little girls said but I don't have pockets...I said well sit where they would be!!!

    My kids would say to other students "4 on the floor!!"
     
  19. DTM

    DTM Rookie

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    It seems that we have a consensus that it's okay for the kids to work in a position that is comfortable to them. It's very reassuring to me to know that other teachers feel this way.

    I, too, get a little concerned about other people's perceptions (i.e. Principal and VP) of how the kids are sitting. However, as long as they are working in a manner that is safe (4 on the floor, etc.), I think I'm going to stop obsessing so much about whether or not they are "sitting tall."

     
  20. herins

    herins Companion

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    I can't work sitting tall! I sit on my legs all the time, so I could never expect my students to! But, like others have said, when I am teaching, and they should be listening, I do expect them to listen respectfully, which includes polite sitting.
     
  21. grade1teacher

    grade1teacher Companion

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    I reserve putting your head down for when a child is "not feeling well" but does not need to go home.
    I have students who put their feet up on their desks - I consider this disrespectful, and don't allow it.

    Other than that, I pretty much akllow anything - standing, sitting, angles twirled around the legs. Some kids need that imput. Ever sit in a conference, meeting, or a long phone convo and find your foot swaying back and forth, or re-cross your legs the other way numerous times? Our bodies need to move, feel, and push against things. And we instinctively do what we need to do to balance that out. Whether it is standing up to put pressure in your legs, or kneeling to put pressure there... As long as they are quiet and productive...
    If I see that a child is talking to their neighbor during quiet work time, though, I do instruct them to turn back around and put their feet on the floor facing the board.
     
  22. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    i dont use 'sit tall' but instead, i say (to 4th and 5th graders)...
    define your space
     
  23. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    I work with 6 children around a U shaped table daily! I have trouble with my children wanting to lay on the table! So, I have to tell them to sit like good readers! Which means, on their bottoms with their heads up! I only have them for 30 minutes. When I had my own class (fifth grade) I allowed them to put their head down if they weren't feeling well. Otherwise, no heads down. I was once told teachers in our school were written up when the state department observed because that was considered low expectations! So, I'm paranoid now!
     

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