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(Canada) Teacher turns classroom into 'Comfort Cove' to help with behavior problems

Feb 4, 2018, (Canada) CBC News: How a 'Comfort Cove' helps a teacher and her students recharge—Beanbag chairs and low lighting turn classroom into lunchtime retreat http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/teacher-transforms-classroom-into-comfort-cove-1.4512845 We had a long list of concerns: the inadequately resourced inclusion model; large class sizes with complex compositions; chronic behavioural challenges; and dire mental health needs that continue to go unaddressed. And there was more, including deficiencies in social supports for families and youth, incidents of physical violence against teachers, reduced time to teach some subjects and ever-increasing demands on teachers. … I decided to turn my classroom into what I call Comfort Cove. Named for its connection to Newfoundland, and its metaphor for a safe and quiet haven for those wanting to escape the stormy seas, it became my new project. I initially brought in a couch that I didn't need anymore. I also brought in several pieces of lawn furniture and beanbag chairs that I garnered from a friend. I gathered crossword, logic, Sudoku and see-a-word puzzles, plus math sheets, colouring sheets and information on how to focus the mind through writing in a journal. … It was immediately successful. At the end of June 2017, I was honoured to receive an Educator's Innovation Award from the Newfoundland and Labrador Education Foundation. It came with a small grant that enabled me to expand and heighten the experience for what I call my Comfort Covers. To see the students benefit was just the kindling I needed for my fire. … The problems I noted earlier persist in the public school system. Comfort Cove has not solved this. I worry especially about behavioural problems, including the threat of physical violence in the classroom, and the impact on both students' well-being and their educational outcomes. Major systemic issues need to be addressed. I'm talking about disrespectful attitudes, foul language in the classroom and a refusal to participate in classroom activities. Many teachers see these behaviours every day.