Take a Seat

Take a Seat

Charlie Trent, Editor-In-Chief

It’s a regular school day and you go to into a classroom that looks the same as it has every day since kindergarten: rows and columns of desks coupled with hard plastic chairs. As you go through the normal 45-minute class period, you start to feel restless. Clicking your pen repeatedly. Kicking the leg of your desk or chair. Tapping your foot. Sound familiar? This scene is pretty routine to many students in a traditional classroom in America, but that could be changing.

Flexible seating, a classroom layout that features multiple levels and options of where students can sit is helping to change this issue. Flexible classrooms may feature yoga balls at shorter desks, couches, wiggle stools or yoga mats on the floor.

These new types of seating are used to try and combat the boredom and lack of activity that the school day provides. According to Edutopia.org, flexible seating “gives students a choice in what kind of learning space works best for them, and [helps] them to work collaboratively, communicate, and engage in critical thinking.”

This kind of work space allows students with hyperactive disorders such as ADD and ADHD to fidget and move without distracting the other students with excess movement or noise. This balance is critical to making the classroom ideal for every type of student to increase the comfortability of the class and the productivity of the students.

According to the California Department of Education, students with access to flexible seating raised their test scores by 27 percent. This shows how flexible seating is not only important for those who struggle with hyperactivity, but it also benefits the other students who struggle to sit through a seven-period school day.

Studies have also shown that this new wave of classrooms has helped drive student participation. According to a study funded by Steelcase Education, this control has given students a higher rate of productivity and student engagement.

This type of learning environment has grown in popularity across the United States and even into many classrooms in the Blue Valley school district. However, this does not mean that every classroom in BV provides this to the students. Many students, including myself, struggle to stay engaged after sitting for hours on end every single week due to the fact that classes lack little discussion and movement, which flexible seating has been proven to increase.

Although it seems like classrooms are painfully uncomfortable now and fidgeting has become a regular part of your day, a new and more interactive classroom isn’t as far away as it may seem.