Making Flexible Seating Possible

Making Flexible Seating Possible

Flexible seating in classrooms has been growing in popularity. Many teachers have tried it out and recognize its benefits in students’ attendance, grades, and even behavior. Flexible seating lets students choose their learning space, providing a variety of seating options in the same classroom. It allows students to be more comfortable, and use up excess energy. It can even provide better oxygen flow to the brain.

Overcoming Obstacles

Teachers have found flexible seating to be beneficial overall, even with the obstacles they had to overcome. Edutopia recently interviewed a group of teachers who use flexible seating and found that teachers with budgetary concerns were able to switch to flexible seating with the help of donations and searching for budget-friendly, used furniture for their classrooms. Teachers who thought that students would struggle to stay still or focused cautioned their students that lack of attention or sleepiness would have the student moved to a different seating area. They found their students became more attentive and motivated by choosing where they sit.

Megan Chapman, a third grade teacher in Kansas, shared her thoughts on flexible seating. “After only a couple of months of using flexible seating in my classroom, I can confidently say that I will never go back to a traditional seating model. By giving up a little control and allowing choice, my students are empowered in our classroom. They are decision-makers and problem-solvers. My classroom is reflective of the real world, and students are figuring out how to successfully function in that environment.”

Ensuring Students Can Hear

Despite the benefits of flexible seating to empower student learning, if the students can’t hear their teacher, they lose that advantage. The students closest to the teacher can hear perfectly over background noise, but as you move further away, sound decays. Eventually, background noise interferes with students’ ability to hear at a level that allows them to understand and focus. In a flexible seating classroom, students spread throughout the room and may not even face the teacher. This makes it even more difficult to hear when the teacher speaks. Audio Enhancement’s Classroom Audio Systems provide a solution to this. They allow students in all four corners of the classroom to hear clearly and evenly, without causing strain or fatigue for the teacher’s voice.

As with all good things, switching to flexible seating is no easy feat. With that said, many teachers have stated that it is well worth the effort. Giving their students choice, even if it is something small like choosing where they sit, has made all the difference in their classroom.

Will you implement flexible seating in your classroom this year?

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