It's Okay If You Still Have Desks

Hey teacher.

You're incredible.

Do you have a variety of flexible seating options for students to choose from?

You're a great teacher.

Do you [still] have desks?

You're a great teacher, too.

The seating options we provide our students certainly impact students' learning environments, but they do not define you as a teacher.

Flexible seating is amazing. Search #flexibleseatingclassroom on Instagram, and you'll find more than 5,000 images of gorgeous, modern classrooms. Students are working in spaces that are comfortable for them: couches, bean bags, picnic tables, and so on.

Is it for me? No. 

It's just not. As a teacher, I like order, and clean lines, and structure. As a student, I like having a spot to call "mine" that I can return to at any time for a feeling of comfort and security.

The closest I ever got to flexible seating was when I swapped to tables for a few years. This gave students the ability to choose their own places, and I lowered about half of the tables for students to sit on the floor if they wanted to. They loved it and I loved it, but then I moved to third grade.

In third grade, we do standardized testing. In the classroom. This is why I had to switch back to desks.

Sad, I know.

It's okay if you still have desks.

I know this, because I still have desks. 

I still have desks, and I know my students are learning.

I still have desks, and I know my students are happy.

I still have desks, and I know I'm being the best teacher I can be right now.

In my opinion, the idea behind the educational buzzwords "flexible seating" is empowering students by providing them with CHOICES and opportunities to create their own path for effective learning.

Empowering students through choice increases intrinsic motivation, engagement, and sense of ownership, all of which in turn increase achievement.

I still have desks, but do I force students to sit at their desks all day? Of course not!

If I'm teaching whole group, students can sit at their desks or on the carpet.

For partner work, group work, or independent work, they can sit anywhere. I always encourage them to choose a "smart spot" where they are able to do their best learning. Rugs, pillows, and tables/desks are all we need!

My students are comfortable in my classroom because of the way I treat them.
The relationships we have and the way I manage my classrooms allows students to feel comfortable, safe, and secure in their learning environment.

Have you enjoyed creating a classroom environment with flexible seating trends?

You're an amazing teacher.

Do you [still] have desks?

You're an amazing teacher, too. 

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