What are some of the challenges teachers can experience as they establish objectives and assessments and how would you mitigate the challenges?
RESPOND TO THESE TWO STUDENT POST
In your response to the postings of these two learners, review and provide feedback on their suggestions. From a real-world standpoint, will their suggestions contribute to inclusive and safe environments? Are they practical to implement? Why or why not?
I believe that a child’s environment can hinder or help the child. According to Swim (2006)(as cited in Allen & Cowdery, 2015, pg. 330), “Taking time to reflect on the physical environment is imperative as it is considered the “third teacher” in the classroom. In other words, the environment provides guidance to the children and adults about appropriate behavior (p. 101)”. It is important that a child learns in a supportive, safe, and helpful environment. To demonstrate this environment, the indoor space should be in an open environment. Open environments should be spaced out, children should be able to move freely, and be clutter-free. Your students should also have easy access to everything in the classroom. With that, children can get developmentally appropriate materials (level books, puzzles), resources, or manipulatives on their own through appropriate furniture. Furniture such as cabinets, couches, tables, cubbies, etc. should be child-sized. According to Watson & McMathren (as cited Allen & Cowdery, 2015, pg. 340), “Furniture is stable and at varying heights to meet the needs of the children”. Other than stable furniture, the furniture (cubbies, cabinets, or desks) should not have sharp edges, to ensure safety while learning. Also, your outdoor play area should have the appropriate equipment such as swing sets, slides, seesaws, etc. To create an inclusive environment, the outdoor play should follow the SAFE program. According to Thompson, Hudson, & Olsen (2006), “The areas include adequate Supervision, Age-appropriate design, suitable Fall surfacing, and Equipment and surface maintenance (as cited in Allen & Cowdery, 2015, pg. 341). It is important that we, as adults, monitor the children and make sure the equipment safe to use.
An inclusive classroom and outdoor play are essential in fostering lifelong learners. Allen and Cowdery (2015) help us to understand many ways to create a safe environment and enabling the foresight of knowing the classroom is another teacher (p. 330). Bredekamp & Copple (2009) mention that teachers who are familiar with the safety policies and procedures are better to equip at providing appropriate measures to ensure safety. Another safety provision, some teachers take for granted is “attentive supervision” (p. 152). Marie is playing in the school’s gym. The gym has some riding vehicles, a slide/jungle gym combo, and a safety mat. Marie’s class is playing in the gym; her teacher is talking with the assistant teacher, so she was unaware that Marie hurt herself. Marie fell as she was running and, slipped on the safety mat. If Marie’s teachers were more attentive, this incident was preventable. Ideal inclusive classrooms are clutter-free, purposefully design with established routines (Allen & Cowdery, 2015, p.331). Therefore, child-size furniture, developmentally appropriate content such as blocks, dramatic play, books, carpeting, centers, cubbies should meet all safety standards.
Teachers should continually assess their learning environment to discern if their environment is safe, developmentally appropriate, and inclusive. In my school, we do not maintain the outdoor play area; however, it is our responsibility to ensure our student's safety. The most effective ways are providing outdoor play rules, name to face recognition procedures, and logic. Monkey bars are used to assist children with gross motor skills; however, they can be dangerous. We must always think about our children and how to create memorable learning experiences in the safest ways possible. Indoor or outdoor, we must ensure that all equipment is in good, working condition, correctly and appropriately place, and clean. In conclusion, as the new school year approaches, we must take this and every opportunity to ensure our children are learning in an environment that is safe, inclusive, and developmentally appropriate.
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