Teaching Tip: Student Proximity

Proximity to students is one way to increase student attention and inhibit disruptive behaviors. Here are ways to use this tool.
  • Move about the classroom as you teach. Do not always teach from one place in the classroom (e.g., in front), and certainly do not teach sitting at your desk.
  • Arrange the desks in your classroom so that there are more columns than rows. This will make it easier to face all students directly. If you are more concerned about reducing the distance of students from the front of the classroom, arrange your desks with more rows than columns.
  • Have students who typically cause disruptions sit front and center.
  • Minimize the number of empty desks between students.
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