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Students to learn in more comfortable classrooms

The+old+desk+and+hard-back+chairs+will+be+replaced+next+year+with+more+comfortable+options.+Several+classrooms+will+be+making+the+transition.
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Students to learn in more comfortable classrooms

The old desk and hard-back chairs will be replaced next year with more comfortable options. Several classrooms will be making the transition.

The old desk and hard-back chairs will be replaced next year with more comfortable options. Several classrooms will be making the transition.

The old desk and hard-back chairs will be replaced next year with more comfortable options. Several classrooms will be making the transition.

The old desk and hard-back chairs will be replaced next year with more comfortable options. Several classrooms will be making the transition.

Adam McKeehan, Reporter

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A large quantity of comfortable classrooms with flexible furniture are coming to Big Spring High School next year. Over the past few weeks, teachers and administration have been meeting to discuss the new seating arrangements for a more relaxed, cozy atmosphere. This would include replacing the desks and hard-back chairs with tables and more soft seating such as sofas. As of this week, teachers who applied to be members of a group dedicated to studying flexible seating were given a budget of $3000 each to purchase furniture for their classroom. Students and teachers alike find these new seating arrangements a great step forward in improving life in the classroom.

Algebra teacher Michael Berry’s classroom has been chosen as a “Sample Classroom” to showcase potential furniture items and to allow students to try it before the big transition next year. Berry has had the furniture since February 16 but the furniture will soon be gone. Berry said “I think it’s pretty cool….the high seats are pretty popular. They all help with posture compared to the regular chairs. The students really like them; I think they’re great.” Upon review, not only are the seats comfortable, but high tables to match the high seats and different shape desks could be part of the mix as showcased in Berry’s room

Principal Bill August, who is a part of the flexible seating committee said, “Flexible seating, at a minimum, should make the classroom environment more comfortable for students.  Sitting on hard chairs all day, especially in our block classes, can be a challenge for students. The real power of flexible seating is the instructional changes that it can allow. This type of seating is more conducive to collaboration, rotations, and hands-on activities”

   With all the benefits the flexible furniture brings to the table, there are some disadvantages it could pose as well. When asked about any potential issues arising, Berry said, “There could be distractions to slide and bounce on these (high chairs), and it requires patience. It all depends on the subject really.” August said, “One thing we need to be aware of is how having flexible seating may impact when we have to do Keystones and other standardized testing.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it an issue per se, but rather something we have to keep in mind when we need to do more traditional things in our rooms.” He also added, “Our student body is amazing, and they consistently rise to meet our expectations, especially when it comes to being respectful and taking care of our school.  We would have the same expectations for any new school furniture, and I have little doubt that students will continue to care for their classrooms as they do now.”

    As of right now, only a select number of teachers will be making the transition. There are some tight deadlines for teachers to become familiar with what the possibilities are with flexible seating and how it might impact their instruction. For now, there seem to be no major issues and the optimism is high for a change in the classroom. Next year, students may just be sitting in something a little softer to be more comfortable while working harder.

 

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