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tyrex tyrex is offline
 
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Why I don't like flexible seating
Old 07-16-2017, 04:58 AM
 
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This is in response to the "Looking for Some Reassurance" post so I don't threadjack.

Disclaimer--I am sure flexible seating is beneficial for some students with severe, unmedicated ADHD. I am not referring to those students. I am referring to the typical student. I also am not referring to small things. For example, if a student asks if he can stand, I let him do so in the back or side of the room. I am also not referring to special reading areas or to kindergarten kids who don't know how to sit and listen yet.

1. The grumpy old teacher argument. We have never in a hundred years had flexible seating before. We learned to make do. We also learned how to sit quietly in uncomfortable chairs and that gave us practice for church, concerts, graduation, waiting at the DMV, and so on. If the teacher is changing up the class with different activities frequently, then the students won't be just sitting all class anyway.

2. Security for students. I have a child who has been embroiled in girl drama since kindergarten. When she is in her classroom, I want her to have an assigned seat so she can focus on learning and not on whether or not Sara is sitting next to her or today is sitting next to Cassie. The last thing these girls need is for their recess drama to spill into the classroom.

I also have an anxiety-prone DS, and I want him to have an assigned seat to reduce his stress about where to sit each day. He would never say that choosing his seat stressed him out, but it would be a huge stressor for him.

3. I read a blog from a high school teacher who does flexible seating, including couches and a very coffeehouse vibe. As a HS teacher, I can unequivocally say that when students have that casual of an atmosphere, their behavior will sink to that level of casualness. (I do not mean having a couch and letting kids sit on it during silent reading. That works fine.) This teacher had couches and that's where they sat for notes, assignments, everything.

4. The Pinterest fad. If it weren't for Pinterest, this fad wouldn't have taken off. It seems it's about looking cool and fun and that makes me skeptical.

5. Some teachers are spending their own money. If the flexible seating were provided by the school in addition to traditional seating I would not mind it as much.

I am sure people will want to debate my reasons, and that's fine. The purpose of this post is to answer the other poster's question.


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Old 07-16-2017, 05:28 AM
 
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5. Some teachers are spending their own money. If the flexible seating were provided by the school in addition to traditional seating I would not mind it as much.
In addition, they are using Donor's Choose and other funding sources that could be used to fund educational type items, which in the long run takes away from classrooms.

I don't hate flexible seating, but I think it is a disservice. I think sitting and attending is the long term goal (used to be short term, but lets face it. Kids take longer to get everything anymore, as evidenced by the fact that standards and goals have been pushed down lower and lower because obviously, kids need longer to "get it." ) and we aren't doing any favors by not having them work on it from the beginning.

One of my ADHD kids popped one of my coworkers ball chairs with a pencil, bouncing on it. . I have tried a ball in my room before for kids who struggled. It really didn't do anything that I could see. One of my coworkers has a classroom of balls, and I have to say the few times I have been in her room, I don't think I saw a child sitting on one. They were all standing up.

I tried a low table once with big cushions underneath and my kids found these little chairs to pull over to sit on.

I prefer to just let them find places to work that work for them. Get a clipboard and sit on the floor if you don't want to sit at the desk. I have had kids who need to stand and I just make sure they are placed around the back of the room where they can stand without bothering others. I don't think I suffer from anxiety, but I know that if I didn't have an assigned seat I would be stressed every single day. Know that feeling when you walk in later to something and the seats all seem to be taken? As adults we all tend to lean against the back wall than to find a seat.

Wait long enough....
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:31 AM
 
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I agree. I'm waiting for the dad to shift back to regular seating. That said, I have some kids that do well with hokki stools and balls.

I like having assigned seats and structure. I'm ok with kids spreading out when they're working with partners or in groups, but when I'm teaching I want them sitting up and listening.

What it boils down to is flex seating doesn't align with my teaching philosophy. I'm ok with that.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:31 AM
 
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I tend to agree with you. I think that as long as the teacher is providing an age appropriate amount of movement breaks/activities in the classroom, there is nothing wrong with teaching children that there are times they need to sit in chairs (with, like you said, some flexibility for students who'd like to stand, or the occasional student/s who really need the extra help that an alternative seating arrangement provides).
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:54 AM
 
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I agree with all of the points stated above. Too many teachers jump on bandwagons without fully thinking through whether or not it is necessary or worth the expense.


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Flexible Seating
Old 07-16-2017, 07:04 AM
 
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Plus I'm selfish. Having kids all over the room (regardless of behavior) stresses me out and overwhelms me. I need to be able to watch everyone and I can't do that with flexible setting.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:59 AM
 
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The one thing I really hate about education is the fads. And I think flexible seating is a huge fad. It's time will eventually pass.

But "flexible seating" is now a category on our evaluations! I don't have it and don't plan to spend my own money to get it, nor waste time doing a DonorsChoose for it. So I guess I'll be marked down. Funny enough, my test scores are still pretty high even without a special chair for kids to sit in.
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Population
Old 07-16-2017, 08:01 AM
 
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I really think you have to look at your population and teaching philosophy. What works for one child or one teacher may not work for you. It's good to have options. I have done a ton of research into flexible seating and I was asked to pilot it this year by my principal. I'm a little nervous but it fits very well with my philosophy so I'm going to make it work for ALL kids. That's why it's flexible. I can modify it to meet every child's need.

Times are changing. Kids are changing. Society is changing. We have to keep finding ways to engage our students even more today. I have taught for over 20 years. I remember the past. Less behavior, less trauma, less special needs. What worked well then doesn't always work well now. The best thing about teaching is you can create your classroom environment that suits you and your students and we all can be different!
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:58 AM
 
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Shell, can you share the research here ? I'd be interested in looking at it.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:10 AM
 
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We've been doing flexible seating for years, now (3-5 years). What my coworkers and I have found is that kids need and want a place to call their own. They want their school items/supplies WITH them...not in some cubby in the room. They want a desk to call their own, with their supplies INSIDE their desks.

We have round tables and rectangular tables and various chairs and desks and balls and stools and more to choose from. Anyone who wants a ball or a stool or a chair will grab one that suits them. Never had an issue with that. Many kids never used anything but a standard school issued chair!

What we did have a problem with is the tables vs. desks. Even those who started out using the various tables, soon asked for a desk to call their own. When offered a choice of where to sit, kids, overwhelmingly, wanted a desk. No one wanted the tables.

So, the tables became work spaces, much like the floor.

We will keep offering choices in desks, tables, chairs, balls, etc. But it certainly isn't the "be all/end all" to a child's successful education!


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Old 07-16-2017, 09:51 AM
 
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One word: lice. With all the cushions, couches, and laying on the floor I would worry about lice. It would also be considered a fire hazard. I have seen so many new teachers bring in pillows only to get rid of them after a lice outbreak.

I do allow my students to stand, sit around the room to read or work, and I am not against some flexible seating. I work with students that have very little stability and structure in their lives and I find they want a "home base" desk for most of their work.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:07 AM
 
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I love flexible seating and so do my kids. Last year was my first year using it, I have taught the same SPED kids for the past 4 years. This year their score on state testing was much higher! All my kids started out in a desk or at a table and then moved to where they wanted during their independent time.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:09 PM
 
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My 4th graders all have their own desks, but they also have some other tables (regular height and a lower one) that they can go to, plus use clip boards (but sit up to use them, not lie down). We also have a couple small ottomans to sit on and/or a few cushions. We are not allowed to have couches or other uplostered furniture, and probably I am not even supposed to have the cushions. Kids are not allowed to lie on them, just sit, kneel, or put behind back. This is for silent reading time or independent work only, not for when I am teaching a lesson. They are either at desks sitting up or sitting on the floor in front of me for that.

Last edited by twinmom95; 07-16-2017 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:19 PM
 
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I like that flexible seating has started shifting the focus of the classroom from "my" (teacher) classroom to the students owning the room. Our focus should always be on the students and what works best for them. We have to change with the kids and cannot use the argument of "it's always worked in the past".

This is my 19th year and last year I dipped my toe in to flexible seating. I did not have assigned seats at all! I used to be a firm Harry Wong follower of assigned seats from the first day. Let those kids know who's in charge! But as teachers we have to be willing to change! You cannot go to the end of your career doing things like you've always done them. I'm not saying flexible seating is for everyone, but there is nothing wrong with trying new things. What's the worst thing that can happen? You can always go back.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:19 PM
 
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and former classroom teacher, I get to see and compare. Aside from K, I see unfocused and unengaged and fooling around going on in the classrooms with flexible seating. It looks so cool and fun and the teachers and kids like it. In the traditional seating classrooms, there are still the kids who want to be disengaged, but there are far greater numbers of kids who are on task and learning. It seems from my observations, the flexible seating is most detrimental to the students who are struggling academically.
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flexible seating
Old 07-16-2017, 01:20 PM
 
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I'm not a "bandwagon" kind of girl. I've always been slow to jump on new ideas. I figure the advantage is then I can see the pros/cons of it after others have been the guinea pigs.

My colleague does flexible seating and absolutely loves it. She has the high group of students and there tends to be less ADD problems, so I'm not sure if that's part of it. She also doesn't mind a lot of chatter and movement.

Personally, I still prefer desks with my low babies who need to focus more on academics and less on comfort.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:15 PM
 
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A couple of teachers at my school have tried flexible seating with limited success. Many of our students come from very unstable backgrounds. School is the place they can count on to be reliable, and apparently having their own desk that stays the same from day to day is a big part of that for them. They want "their spot".

Some of the more special kids use the flex seating as an excuse to goof off. We have huge behaviour issues at the best of times - putting in another catalyst is not helping anyone.

The consensus seems to be that the kids who like it and use it properly are the ones who would work well no matter where you put them. The ones it's meant to help don't seem to find it appealing as a workspace for one reason or another.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:35 PM
 
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The best place is to join the flexible seating Facebook page. It has amazing resources.

Also I wanted to say I teach in a high poverty school with intense behaviors. I believe flexible seating will do wonders for engagement along with the fidget toys I provide to every child.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:49 PM
 
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My only issue with it is that it seems like it makes it harder for teachers who do not use flexible seating.

"In first grade we got to sit on couches!"

"In math we don't have to sit in desks! Why do we have to in ELA?"

Some teachers have more traditional classroom management styles, and it makes them look like a mean/absurdly strict teacher when they wouldn't be otherwise.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Aside from K, I see unfocused and unengaged and fooling around going on in the classrooms with flexible seating. It looks so cool and fun and the teachers and kids like it. In the traditional seating classrooms, there are still the kids who want to be disengaged, but there are far greater numbers of kids who are on task and learning. It seems from my observations, the flexible seating is most detrimental to the students who are struggling academically.
I see this too. I pull kids out so I'm in and out of classrooms all day long. There are many times when I swear not a single kid in the room is listening to whatever the teacher is saying when I walk in. It also seems that the teachers don't notice as much because so many kids are hidden away in corners, behind furniture, etc. You can't have a good line of sight on everyone if the kids are all over the floor.

As a SPED teacher I find that the vast majority of my kids do best in a very structured environment. I think "flexible seating" probably is a better choice for a small number of students and would be better implemented with just those students rather than forcing it on everyone.

I was a very high achieving student and I would have preferred to have my own desk with my own supplies, like Eliza was saying. I would also have had some of the social anxieties that other posters mentioned, like worrying about who to sit next to and things like that, although I would have never let it show or admitted it. So I don't think it's just the lower kids that benefit from structure either.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:17 PM
 
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I agree with many of the original points, and I am one that has flexible/alternative seating. I started many years ago (pre-pinterest) with flexible seating and letting my kids work where they wanted, including the floor. Then I added alternative seating with a low table and a standing table (again, pre-pinterest). Last I added hokki stools. And that's where I will stop because I've found a great balance that works for me and my kids. And it has nothing to do with looking cool or fun - it's about doing what works for my students. It also works much better for my teeny tiny room.

If I have a student or group that needs assigned seating I will do it. That's part of me (and the students) being flexible. If the seating choices are causing drama or problems I will assign seats. It's doing what works best for each group and being willing to change when needed.

I think there are a few things that are really beneficial. With so many kids being less active than in the past sitting on hokki stools or yoga balls can be very beneficial to overall body and core strength. The reason I started in the first place was because I had read some great blogs from pt's and ot's about some of the struggles kids are having physically and developmentally in our less active, digital age.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:23 PM
 
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It does look so cool though. I'd be tempted if I went back into the classroom.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:58 PM
 
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I have tried flexible seating, and I saw a lot of problems. I teach young kids so the problems I experienced might not be as much of an issue with older kids. Don't know.

The most obvious problems were that some kids consistently made bad choices in terms of who to sit near, no matter how many times I made a big point of "choose to sit where you can be successful, and don't sit near people who will distract you". Some kids sat near their friends, and they spent all their time fooling around and not getting work done.

It also created social drama/social anxiety. Kids would cry when the seat they wanted was already taken by someone else, there was drama when kids excluded others from their area, and some kids wasted a lot of time moving repeatedly.

I went back to assigned seats. I DO make exception for certain kids who genuinely need alternate seating. Mostly this is because they need to sit by themselves and not near others. Those kids are allowed to use a clipboard and sit in a spot with their "own personal space".

In my experience, in my own classroom, for the age of child I teach, the majority of kids seem to feel more secure, and get more work done, when seats are assigned. There are exceptions to this, naturally. I think every teacher needs to do what is right for their classroom, for their students. I DO think that how the teacher feels and how the teacher functions best does matter, though. A totally stressed out teacher is not going to be the most functional teacher.
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Flexible Seating
Old 07-16-2017, 08:50 PM
 
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I know flexible seating works for some teachers, but I think you have to have the right kind of temperament and the right kind of class. Personally, suspect I don't have the patience to get past the "growing pains" of flexible seating nor the tolerance for "controlled chaos." I don't begrudge colleagues who operate differently. Variety is the spice of life, to fall back on a cliche.

My issue with initiatives like flexible seating is when they take on the following trajectory:

Year 0: "Okay, folks. For today's PD, we'd like you to consider X initiative. Here's an article and a video. Look at them and talk among yourselves. Just food for thought."

Year 1: "Okay. folks. Remember that article and video we looked at last September? Well, we are thrilled to announce a new pilot program. Some funds have been allocated to allow Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Green to try out X initiave in their classrooms this year. We all look forward to hearing how it goes!"

Year 2: Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Green are deputized by admin to "train" the rest of the staff in the rudiments of X initiative. Admin says, "We're not saying you have to use it long-term, but we'd like you to try it."

Year 3: Several PD sessions throughout the year are dedicated to X initiative.

Year 4: A few teachers on staff are being marked down on their teacher evaluations / walk-throughs. In the debrief, their failure to embrace X intitiave is cited as a reason for the lower score. It's "highly recommended" thay they sit in to observe Mrs. Brown's and/or Mrs. Green's lessons to get a sense of what is expected.

Year 5: Initiative X is now enshrined in school policy. Admin is actively "advertising" the school's adoption of Initiative X to parents and the community at large.

Year 6: Initiative X is now mandatory for all staff. Failure to demonstrate extensive, consistent use of Initiative X in the classroom is grounds for a non-compliance notation on the classroom walk-through report.

Year 7: Lots of problems with discipline and morale. Seems to be related to Initiave X (and forcing to teachers to get on board).

Year 8: "Okay, folks. For today's PD, we'd like you to consider Y Initiative. Here's an article and a video. Look at them and talk among yourselves. Just food for thought."

Rinse, repeat.

I don't mind it if some colleagues want to try this stuff, but the reason some staff get wary is the fear that it will be foisted as a matter of school policy on the rest of us.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:52 PM
 
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I use elements of flexible seating (crates, stools, tables) in my ELA classroom but have assigned seats as well. We do a combination of group work, work in pairs, and individual work. The seating in the room facilitates the activities going on in the classroom. I did not create the seating first and then add the learning.

Kids need to learn to be flexible. Thats not a seating issue - flexibility is a skill that students need to master. In college the teacher is not going to be concerned about the student's seating. It's all about gaining knowledge.

We need to help students be prepared for the real world and the real jobs that they will have someday. If everyone is catering to the child's comfort at all times - parents - teachers- who is helping the child learn how the real world will be?

I work a summer job at a retail store and work with many high school kids. Many struggle with the guidelines of the job -standing for the entire shift, no cell phone use, proper dress code followed, etc. As teacherrs we have the responsibility to help young people ease into the real world, so that it is not a culture shock once they move on to college or get a job. It's our responsibility to help students learn that the world is not there to adapt to them or their needs but instead students need to learn to adapt to their world.

So if flexible seating works for one teacher's classroom and curriculum that's ok but it's also ok if another teacher finds more traditional seating to be a better option. Variety helps our students learn to be flexible.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:24 AM
 
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As with any other concept in education, flexible seating has an infinite number of different meanings and appearances based on the teacher's understanding of it.

Flexible seating is essential for some students to learn. Flexible seating doesn't mean, to me, that it is a student free-for-all. It just allows certain students to use what they need as long as the learning is then more productive than the other manner. This requires a classroom and school atmosphere that understands that not everyone needs the same thing and that still can be fair. I'm not even talking about someone with a disability.

We also have to be careful about using the concept of training students for the future because workforce is so diverse that there really isn't one work environment. There are skills that are essential for some jobs that are not for another. Forcing a kid to learn with a chair bolt sticking in their back for 6 hours a day isn't really training them to be successful in the workforce. Sure it requires persistence, but at what cost? Is that really the best way to teach a person that sometimes circumstances are difficult?

I think we have a responsibility with everything we consider the cost/benefit of classroom decisions understanding that there will be some situations where a group may have to be sacrificed for the whole but that has to be carefully weighed.
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Pros and cons
Old 07-17-2017, 10:25 AM
 
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There are pros and cons....

I think we have to accommodate student needs in ways that also work for us as teachers.

I don't use flexible seating, but I did try "open seating" last year in my 3rd grade classroom. I have traditional tables and a few desks with more seating spaces than students. At the end of each day, my students chose their spots for the following day. I did not assign seats.

As long as the choice worked for everyone...including me, they remained in that spot all that day. I only had to make changes 6 or 7 times the whole year.

I will try it again this next year. I like that it gives students a choice.
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Not a free for all
Old 07-17-2017, 11:44 AM
 
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Flexible seating does not have to mean a free for all on where to sit each day. I use flexible seating in my 3rd grade classroom, but my students each have their own desk.

When at their seat, they can choose a regular chair, a chair with a wiggle cushion, a seat with bouncy bands, or a hoki stool. My students who need one of those movement options get them first. After that, I allow the students to try them out if they want to. We do not change every day or even every week. I usually just watch and see who could benefit from movement and make changes. I have also had students try an option and not like it. They let me know and we make changes. During independent work or group work time, I have always allowed my students to move to the floor if they wanted to. This year I had several that just wanted to stand at their desks, so I added a standing station. For the coming year I will lower a table and add cushions so they can use that as an option as well. I am not a teacher who demands neat rows and control. I do best within organized chaos, child-centered, investigative environments. This works for me. My teammates are more traditional and that is ok.

Here is why I made the change; I have had several ADD and ADHD students over the years. Some were medicated, some were not. I have also had many that were undiagnosed and struggled to learn. I also know that, as a child, I was always wiggly and uncomfortable in chairs. I was very small and did not fit in them like most children my age. My ODD was the same way, she always sat with her feet tucked under her. Her teachers never minded, but one substitute did. The woman called her out on it and made her sit "correctly." Why? Who cares?

Also, I never knew my learning style until college. I had no idea what environments or circumstances increased my ability to understand or retain materials. That is part of why I use flexible seating. I tell my students that they can try different things to learn what works best for them. I want them to learn how they learn.

When teachers come into my room to talk to me, many of them grab one of my hoki stools to sit on :-)
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:19 PM
 
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Quote:
We also have to be careful about using the concept of training students for the future because workforce is so diverse that there really isn't one work environment.
THIS.

I think if a child can't stand XYZ surroundings, the child will hopefully realize this early on in life and will take that into consideration when considering career choices and what s/he wants to do with his/her life after graduation. There ARE "chill" work environments out there. Ad agencies, magazine publishing houses and coffee houses are among a few that pop into mind. Also, taking up a skill you can turn into something marketable and then working for yourself is an option. Let's not get caught up in a fear-mongering mindset that says "we must teach XXX or kids won't survive in the real world!" First, I'd question whether we "must" teach XXX, and second I'd question whether Y is the best way to teach XXX.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:54 PM
 
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Last year, I tried it and like it, but they could only do flexible seating during independent work. They still has their desks and when I taught a lesson they needed to be at their desk or their circle spots.
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Flexible Seating
Old 07-18-2017, 10:48 AM
 
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I like it to a point. I agree wholeheartedly that we need to assign seats to keep the anxiety down, especially when the kids have "friend drama". That said, they can always sit wherever they want when they are working independently--they cannot displace someone from his/her seat though.

Our district doesn't allow pillows, comfy chairs, etc. because of lice, bedbugs, and the general difficulty of keeping them clean.
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I agree
Old 07-18-2017, 07:10 PM
 
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with many of you that structured seating still has a place in our classrooms. Kids need structure, whether they realize it or not. It's not like they are going to be permitted to sit on an exercise ball or beanbag chair at their adult jobs. We need to teach them that sometimes they are NOT given a choice. With that being said, I have no problem at all allowing kids to work together in partners/groups/individually on the floor, as long as they are focused. So, I believe in it to some extent, I just don't want it to be a "thing" in my classroom.
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Thanks....
Old 07-21-2017, 05:49 AM
 
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I have had many of these same thoughts. Structure is important for students. I am flexible, but I agree with you wholeheartedly.
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:39 AM
 
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[QUOTE]It's not like they are going to be permitted to sit on an exercise ball or beanbag chair at their adult jobs.[It's not like they are going to be permitted to sit on an exercise ball or beanbag chair at their adult jobs./QUOTE]

Really? Because my P sits at an exercise ball at her desk. Our secretary has a stand up desk.
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Interesting
Old 07-21-2017, 06:07 PM
 
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Is it just me or have some of the Vent threads been getting super interesting this summer? Hmmmm. I like this one. An authentic exchange of ideas.

I just wanted to respond to the talking point about preparing students for the workplace. I'm not convinced one way or the other that seating in classrooms is necessarily the determining factor in how successful students will be in the workforce. As others have noted, there are a lot of different jobs out there, and many don't require hours of sitting at a desk.

I actually think other factors and trends in education have done more damage to students' ability to succeed than flexible seating. The "No Zeros" trend and the nonsensical idea that achievement and assessment should be completely divorced from discipline and self-regulation has done a lot more harm, at least in my opinion. Employers are reporting that they now have to teach basic professional courtesy and decorum to new hires. The workplace is being flooded by people who don't think the rules apply to them and/or think their punctuality (or lack thereof) is (or should be) irrelevant to their employment status. After years of no (or token) consequences for tardiness, new employees think they should be able to turn in reports/timesheets days late. After all, if they've been told for years they can turn in their work late and still get an A (since "the grade should reflect their learning and not their work habits"), why should they expect to get fired when they fail to submit their work in a timely fashion. It should be based on whether it's good, right? Who cares when the boss got it?

It's true, as another poster mentioned, that "chill workplaces" do exist. However, we do students a disservice when we give them the "follow your dreams" spiel and lead them to think they'll have the option to hop out of school and move to Fresno and go work for an ad agency / software developer / whatever where they can nap in hammocks after lunch, lounge on yoga mats during planning meetings, get chair massages at their workspaces on demand, show up to work in pajama pants, etc. This may be a thing now, but it's still the exception, not the rule. The reality is that the job market is getting tougher and tougher, even for those who graduate with good marks and advanced college degrees. Many are confronting years of uncertainty, working for little or no pay, working in fields only tangentially-related (or not related at all) to the field for which they trained, and with limited expectations of flexibility, job security, benefits, etc. All this amounts to the need for them to learn to conform to the expectations of others, to BE flexible, not to expect flexibility from their employers. Again, I'm not sure flex seating has much to do with this reality.

As I mentioned above, I admire colleagues who can pull off flexible seating. It's not for me. What drives me batty is the dogmatic type of colleague who sees herself or himself as the "champion of students" (as though the rest of us are all moustache-twisting Bond villains looking for creative ways to ruin young lives) and who seem to think that their experiments in education ought to be mandatory for everyone. I don't mind "It works for me and I like it." I do mind people who seem to put row/traditional/assigned seating in the same category as dunce caps and corporal punishment or who imply that asking a student to sit in a chair is something that should be considered a violation of the Geneva Convention. I guess I tend to reject extreme arguments of whatever variety. The reality is usually somewhere in the middle.
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You do you
Old 08-01-2017, 03:32 PM
 
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Do what makes you most effective.
I always ask- what do I need as a learner? What do I hate?
I love having choices and I hate professors droning on and on. I hate group work but love open ended projects.
I know not every student thinks the same as I do but it's a start. If we hate sitting still for 7 hours, how can kids do it?
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:26 PM
 
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Flexible seating helps some kids not all. Some kids need structure and routine. Some need stability and for some having an assigned seat is exactly what they need. Yes kids change and we need to adapt, but flexible seating is not going to be the factor that gets a student to their full potential.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:47 PM
 
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Just wanted to add-
Seasoned teachers know that you never get rid of desks. They are the gold standard and are very hard to get back once you have given them over to the custodians to carry away into storage. (At least that is how it has been at every building that I've taught in)
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