Flexible seating is a new and popular form of classroom management and learning that is sweeping many primary (and some secondary classrooms). Flexible learning is the adjustment of seating within the classroom space allowing students to flow between stations and sections of the classroom allowing them to work independently and collaboratively at their own pace. Flexible seating allows students to interact with content and work on skills while adhering to their individual learning styles. Flexible Seating is like the typical Google day in the classroom.
In this new "tech" era, students will be expected to work in environments that are very different than those that existed 20 years ago. When students become members of working society, the workplace will most likely look like a typical Silicon Valley office rather than strictly aligned desks and cubicles. In a flexible seating classroom, students are expected to be self-sufficient while analyzing and understanding their own learning capabilities. When students overcome challenges and tasks through the process of self-discovery, they become confident and reliable adults.
I currently work at a school in downtown Los Angeles. Although our students have access to some of the best educational resources in the country, the access to creative learning spaces can improve. My students have lived in the world of "hoop hopping;" worried about strict grade regulation and getting into "the right college.” But, as a society, we are learning that high GPAs and private tutors are not what colleges are necessarily looking for, let alone of which the workforce is searching. Universities are looking to invest in people. People who are community builders, creators, and supporters of humanity.
I have done extensive research on flexible seating, and I am fully convinced that my current school site and students would benefit from a flexible seating classroom. Flexible seating has been proven, when done correctly, to increase student engagement, student test scores, and develop strong and reliable workers and adults. Flexible Seating allows students to interact and engage with content on a mature level that fosters growth rather than task oriented learning. Jumping from box to box does not promote individual growth, it only teaches students to work when others tell them to do so. Flexible Seating supports students in their quest to be lifelong learners, not just temporary students.
With your support, I can ditch the traditional lecture-based classroom for a new student-led, teacher-facilitated classroom. Students will have the ability to work collectively with peers in the and out of the classroom (even on a global scale!) on projects, activities, and assignments that speak to their talents and strengths. My hope is to provide a prototype of this experience which can be shared with my peers and others on campus, along with the teaching community nationally and abroad.
Inclusively, I write a blog called newteacherproblems.blog
where my goal is to support new teachers in their quest for success. My experience with flexible seating, with your support, could provide insight into the flexible seating phenomenon on the secondary level.
If you would like to read up on flexible seating this website does a great job at explaining it's significance: https://www.edutopia.org/practice/flexible-classrooms-providing-learning-environment-kids-need
I would use your donations to purchase the following items for my classroom:
- Seating (couches, chairs, crates, and yoga balls)
- Flat surfaces (tables and benches)
- White Boards
- White Board markers
I will only use your donations for these minimum items. These items provide students with various options to choose how they do work throughout the space. Choosing how one works is a valuable skill and supports their process of education and ownership of knowledge.
Lastly, since you are contributing to
our space, we will dedicate a space in the classroom to you. The students of Loyola High School of Los Angeles will share a video or photo of our space to illustrate how much your contribution means to us.
If you have have any questions or concerns about this project, please let me know!
Also, if you would rather donate physical items rather than money to our classroom, please do not hesitate to email me. Donations of work surfaces and seating are also welcome!