Mobility & Proximity

"Given the opportunity human beings, especially children, will do exactly what they want at any given time." -Bodenheimer's Law

 Will you give them the opportunity?  THE ZONES OF PROXIMITY (Jones, 2007).

RED ZONE: The eight foot radius around the teacher.  Very few problems occur this close to the teacher

YELLOW ZONE: Extends another six feet from the eight foot red zone radius.  For the most part, students act the way they would in the red zone, unless the teacher's back is turned.

GREEN ZONE: The radius outside of the yellow zone.  Green means go, and students know that the teacher is not near.  This is a goof-off zone.

Proximity & Mobility In Action

In an effort to keep all students on task, and give them an opportunity to display self-control, teachers should be constantly navigating the classroom, so as to not keep any student in the green zone for a long period of time.  This includes navigating the classroom during lessons, independent work time, learning centers, etc.  In accordance with Bodenheimer's law, no teacher wants to give any students the opportunity to do what they want; there are plenty of things that the teacher needs them to do.  When students are in the red zone, they are not being given the opportunity to do what they want.  The goal is to have as many students in the red zone as possible for the longest possible length of time.  In the average classroom, the class size is too large to have every student in the red zone.  Therefore, teachers must utilize traffic patterns and the arrangement of student desks in such a way that they can place each student in the red zone with a matter of a few steps.  As you can see in my future classroom floor plan, the isles (blue) are set up in a such a way that at least six students will be in red zone when I am in any given isle.  The arrangement also allows for easy access to all students, giving me the opportunity to place any student in the red zone in a matter of seconds.

Galatians 5:22 states, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..."
This verse has implications for both the teacher and the student.  Just as the teacher expects the student to demonstrate self-control, the teacher is expected to deal with students in a manner that is loving, patient, kind, good, and gentle.  If I am to live by the Spirit, I am to demonstrate these characteristics just as I would expect my students to do.  By utilizing mobility and proximity, I am dealing with students in a way that is loving, patient, kind, good, and gentle in an effort to encourage them to display self-control.  Mobility and proximity will be utilized in my classroom because it is a cheap way to create and manage an effective classroom.