Classroom Furniture for a Flexible Seating Layout
When it comes to choosing classroom furniture, the layout of the room is one of the most important factors. This determines the tables, seating, desks, storage, and everything else that goes into the room. Many schools throughout the country have started using a flexible seating layout for their classes. Students are allowed to choose between many different seating types, from traditional chairs to futons and exercise balls. If this is something you’re considering in your school, this furniture selection guide will help you along the way.
What Is Flexible Seating?
Flexible seating is a philosophy that uses different styles of seating to help students feel in control of their education. The classroom furniture is set up with a combination of comfortable seating and work-friendly seating. Students can select where they want to sit throughout the day based on the activities in the classroom.
Advantages of Flexible Seating
The biggest advantage to flexible seating is the flexibility itself. Teachers are not required to use rows of desks, and instead, they’re able to maneuver their seats to accommodate the day’s lessons. Students get the joy of choosing where to sit, and they’re more likely to pay attention in that position. It invokes a sense of responsibility, so students take pride in their learning environment. Students feel more comfortable, which makes them more focused on the day’s tasks.
Disadvantages of Flexible Seating
Flexible seating may not be ideal for classrooms with small children, or large classrooms where children are difficult to manage. If the classroom has children with behavioral issues, not having assigned seating may make the behavioral problems worse. With that in mind, many teachers have found that students behave better when they choose their seats because they feel better throughout the day.
Choosing Classroom Furniture for a Flexible Seating Layout
If you are going to use a flexible seating layout, plan your workspaces first. Where will students go when they need to complete projects? Have enough tables to accommodate those times, along with chairs for all the students. You can use stacking chairs and folding tables that can be stored away in between uses.
For day to day seating, provide multiple options for the students. As we mentioned earlier in this guide, some teachers use futons or exercise balls for fun seating options. They may also have poufs (personal sized ottomans), floor pillows, camp chairs, stools, small rocking chairs, and traditional desks. You can choose options that best suit the age group of your children and the overall space available in the room. Get lap desks for students to work on when they’re not sitting at a desk or table.
As long as you keep in mind the flexibility required for flexible seating, you can create a versatile classroom setup that benefits the students and the educators.