Teaching from an eye-height of 1m

For no reason that I can think of, I woke up this morning with a thought in my head.

What is it like teaching if you’re very short?

From 1m (3ft), the classroom must look like a very different place. Here are the things I can think of in the classrooms I’m teaching in at the moment:

  • You’ll only just be able to see over the table, so monitoring could be challenging, and seeing what students are doing by walking behind them will be impossible.
  • The whiteboards are set at least 80cm above the ground, so you’ll only be able to use a tiny part of it.
  • The visualiser is set on a high table, so again it will be hard to use, although it could be used instead of the board in some cases.
  • Students may react in unusual ways to having a teacher who contrasts with their mental image of ‘teacher’.
Visualiser: Image from GeneeWorld

This means a lot of the advice I give to teachers is either redundant or very difficult to follow. What would you do in these situations? Can you think of any others? Do you know of any stories of teachers in this situation?

(This was partly inspired by Tamas Lorincz‘s iTDi post about teaching from a different perspective which I read a long time ago – not sure where this thought came from today, but it reminded me of this excellent post which I’d recommend everyone read!)


This post describes British Council exploratory study regarding English language teachers with disabilities.

3 thoughts on “Teaching from an eye-height of 1m

  1. Hi Sandy!

    I haven’t come across a teacher who is really short to comment on with confidence. But I still remember a primary school teacher who was short and had a nickname which referred to her lack of height. When I went through the list of problems that you anticipated for a 1 m high teacher I tried to match them with this particular teacher. I remember how she asked for help from tall students who were in the class for writing on the board. Since there was no access to any teaching aids then other than the board other issues didn’t arise.

    But your post made me think of an area of teaching that often gets overlooked primarily because of the lack of teachers who are very short.




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