I've been a classroom teacher in my district for 10 years now. In 10 years, I've been at 3 schools. In 10 years I've also switched classrooms 6 times. That is an extraordinary amount! In fact, my current classroom was my classroom 2 years ago as well. But last year I was in a different room. So I went from the current room I'm in, to another room, and then back to my current room. As you can imagine, all of this switching is a nightmare for someone like me.
Last week I got into a mode. I do this often. One second I will be planning or setting up for my day, and the next my furniture is everywhere and I'm rearranging. In this case, I ended up putting 2 of my student tables in the hallway. I've read so much about teachers who use flexible seating and I have been itching to try it since my room is pretty small and my kids need space to move about.
It took a lot of figuring out, but let me tell you, I LOVED all that space for my kids! I had brought a round table into my room and it was perfect for meeting groups, parent conferences, and testing!! I was in heaven and the space felt right to me!!
As the week progressed and I watched my kids, I had a realization. The space was right for me and they liked the freedom to move and work on the floor, but I still got this feeling that it wasn't right for them. I decided to ask them, and little by little 2/3 of them told me it just didn't work for them. So it was back to the drawing board.
Fast forward to this week and I have all 4 tables in my room with a great set up that seems to really work (for now at least). My kids are happy and so am I. My perfect round table is gone, and that's okay. I know it isn't all about me and what is perfect for my agenda. As teachers, we need to keep in mind that what matters is our students and what they need to learn and be successful.
I'm really glad that I tried something new even if it was for a short time, because it's good to be open minded. It didn't work for this group of children, but now I know what factors to consider if I decide to try it out for another group. I love the concept of flexible seating and it is a goal of mine to see it through with a group of students who it would benefit.
Have you tried flexible seating in your classroom? If so, I would love to hear about your successes, struggles, and suggestions!