The Right Choice
November 5, 2021
For teachers like Allison Claughbaugh, who has encouraged students to move around and be active most of her career, flexible seating has been a natural progression. She has been teaching in a way that could be called flexible seating even before flexible seating was a buzz word.
“Most of my direct instruction happens on the carpet,” she said.
At this age they are always moving, standing, and getting out of their seats.
— Mrs. Kelly
Myers teachers agree that flexible seating is used to give the students a sense of ownership in their classrooms, while providing an outlet for the energy most young people bring to school.
At Myers, there are many different options the students get to pick from. There are yoga balls, camp chairs, carpet squares, places students can stand up to work, and many others. There is even regular seating in desks for those students who prefer standard seating.
Mrs. Kelly likes the idea of providing outlets young peoples’ energy because, she said, “Kids are prone to wiggle.”
“At this age they are always moving, standing, and getting out of their seats,” said Mrs. Kelly.
Now that flexible seating is an option for teachers, they find it is easier for kids to pay attention.
The right choice is a very important privilege that comes out of allowing students to pick what works best for their education, a skill that is constantly used in their classrooms.
In most cases at Myers, students get to choose what seat they want to use at the beginning of each week. Many kids either chose the seats on the floor with a table or the blue cushion chair, Mrs. Kelly said.
While they have an option for a traditional desk, most students don’t prefer that over the less traditional seats, Mrs. Kelly said. In fact, she said, there are usually one or two students that choose to sit at desks.
For teachers, having flexible seating means the need for strong classroom management, whether that means making sure kids don’t rock back and forth, make noise, or get distracted by the other seating around them. Teachers also oversee students picking out their seats so there isn’t any fighting.
So far, there haven’t been many complaints about flexible seating, Mrs. Kelly said. When there was a complaint, it was a misunderstanding about classroom control.