Flexible seating? Is it for me? How do teachers afford it? What if it doesn’t work? I am here to tell you some tips and tricks for getting your feet wet with flexible seating. There are ways to test it out without flipping your entire classroom and it will let you start getting a feel for what it may look like in your classroom.
When I first started flexible seating, I started in January. My kids already knew the routines and procedures of my classroom. I felt comfortable enough that I could make a change in our seating procedure and it wouldn’t impact the rest of the flow of our classroom. I also was convinced that it would not be something I would like so I could test it out mid-year, deal with it for the remainder of the school year, and then go back to my assigned regular seats the following year knowing that it just wasn’t my style.
I am happy to say I was wrong. I have fallen in love with flexible seating and I don’t see myself going back to only traditional seating ever.
What is flexible seating?
Flexible seating is giving students a choice of where they work. I am currently sitting on my couch writing this post. I will likely move to the kitchen table at some point to add some more and will probably finish up the final touches of this post while in bed. Students, just like us, may work better in different areas of the classroom. Giving them a choice in where they work is flexible seating.
What does it look like?
I am sure you have seen classrooms on social media that have all sorts of flexible seating things. I am here to tell you, there is no right or wrong way for it to look. Flexible seating can look however you want it to look. Do students have choice of where to work? Are there options for students? If the answers are yes, then that is what flexible seating looks like!
I don’t have money for flexible seating.
I don’t either! There are plenty of ways to do this without breaking the bank. If you want the fancy stuff, there are plenty of options . Donors Choose or other donation sites are great ways to raise money for fancier flexible seating such as wobble stools or yoga balls. You can also make a wish list and have parents donate items.
Flexible seating doesn’t have to cost a thing though. My students favorite place to work is at lowered tables in my classroom. We just removed the legs from the table and they work there on the floor. Another favorite is standing and working on top of cart or shelf. Both of these options already existed in my classroom, I just had to remove the legs from one and clear of the top of another.
What if it doesn’t work?
If it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. There is nothing wrong with that. You have to do what works best for you and your students in your classroom. It may not be for you and that is ok. You are still a rockstar teacher!