There is a common debate on whether lunch tables should be assigned, or student-picked. Most reasons for a seating arrangement at lunch has to do with inclusion and making friends. These things could also be avoided in other cases.
It is believed by some that having assigned seats at lunch eliminates the stress and worry of trying to find a seat. Experts agree that developing social-emotional skills is very important and should be prioratized. The table talk at school lunch tables gives students the opportunity to get closer with peers and demonstrate how to make conversations with others in the future. Breaking down groups allows students to blend, encouraging meeting new people and making new friends. With all ages and social groups, this overall benefits the school’s culture.
On the other hand, 98% of teens say they have one or more close friends, while only 2% say they don’t consider anyone to be a close friend. Some ways to make kids feel included are providing different options in completing assignments. Suggesting many ways to go about the students’ learning helps the kids feel responsible for their learning and comfortable with their atmosphere. Another way to include all, is to have recognition of the students’ personal life out of school. Having games and fun activities can include many and help bring school into a positive environment in kids' minds. All of these ideas are things schools can do to help kids feel comfortable, welcome, and included in school without changing a seating arrangement.
In my opinion, I think including students in ways that are more controlled by teachers is much more effective than hoping the kids at lunch tables are kind and encouraging to others. What do you think?
Do you think there should be assigned seats at lunch? Why or why not?
Would blending all social groups encourage new friendships?
What are some other ways to include all students?