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I blog on Brain-Based Learning, Metacognition, EdTech, and Social-Emotional Learning. I am the author of the Crush School Series of Books, which help students understand how their brains process information and learn. I also wrote The Power of Three: How to Simplify Your Life to Amplify Your Personal and Professional Success, but be warned that it's meant for adults who want to thrive and are comfortable with four letter words.

Culturally Responsive Teaching In A Starbucks Classroom

The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom.
— Paulo Freire

Are we the Educators or the Oppressors?

Managing not Leading. Micromanaging. Controlling. Suffocating. Sound familiar?

Our Students? Our Future.

Our Students? Spokes in the One Size Fits All Creativity Killing Machine.

Is this what status quo education boils down to and must be?

I hope not, but the question must be asked:

What Are We Doing Intentionally To Make School And Our Students' Lives Beyond Better?

Check out the infographic below to see how Starbucks (Flexible Seating) Classrooms serve all students better.

culturally responsive teaching in a flexible seating classroom

Starbucksing, or going from traditional to flexible seating in middle school or high school, will not cure all the ills of the American Educational System on its own, but it's a great start if we commit to changing our teaching and pedagogy along with it. It is a message to the learner that class is about to be different. But the novelty and innovation have to become the new normal to sustain the momentum. One can't simply throw up a PowerPoint on the screen and have students copy from slides as they've always done. Worksheets and other regurgitation devices are no good either. You must plan for students to create and they must create.

That's important, because we're in danger of releasing into the world another generation of young people programmed to follow orders and maintain the status quo. A familiar world, in which creativity and innovation are reserved for the few, who despite our schooling system's best efforts to the contrary, gain the education and skills necessary to change the world for the better. Ask yourself: Why can't more people be innovators? Then, act to change it. This, not teaching a subject, is an educator's job.

I thought converting my high school chemistry classroom into a cafe style flexible seating room, would be a leap into the future. I was wrong. I could have made that move ten years ago and it would have been the right time for it, because the future is now and we have to seize it, adapt to it, and make it better for our students. They are ready. Are you?

You have the power to change lives. Use it often.