It’s all the rage these days: Flexible seating.
What is flexible seating?
Flexible seating is where you give multiple options for your students and where they want to be seated. Some might choose to sit at a desk, others might choose to sit on a couch if you have one, others might even choose to sit on a bean bag. There are no more assigned seats and it is supposed to give you classroom a new level of comfort.
The whole basis behind this is, kids probably don’t want to sit in a hard chair at a desk all day. With flexible seating, you are eliminating that and giving your students options.
What do you use for flexible seating?
- Balance Ball
- Scoop Chair
- Inflatable Chairs
- Wobble Cushions
- Wobble Chairs
- Lap Trays
- Bean Bag Chair
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Pros of flexible seating
- Your students get to take ownership of where they want to sit.
- Students may feel “more comfortable” than sitting in a typical chair.
- Your classroom will have a more open feel to it.
Cons of flexible seating
- It can get expensive very quickly
- You will have to buy a lot of options…. plus don’t forget that you have to buy clip boards and/or lap desks for every student!! This could get pretty pricey.
- Behavior management might be hard to control (fighting over a chair??) unless you have a really good plan in place
- You will not have a lot of desk room when you might need it.
- It takes a lot of planning
Is it right for you?
You need to be thinking of what you want your classroom to look and feel like. Once you have an idea, you need to PLAN it out. If you choose to go with flexible seating, then you need to plan out what type of seats you will have and how many of each. On top of that, you are going to have to come up with a plan. What are you going to do if one area of your class is much more popular than the others? Will you have rotations through each seating option? How will you organize supplies and everything else? Like I said, you need to plan.
While flexible seating seems like it would make such a fun and relaxed environment, the planning is often not all thought out. Not only that, I am seeing a trend on “how to have flexible seating on a budget.” This often times results in less comfortable seating and items that break a lot easier. Replacing them just means more money. YIKES.
I personally didn’t have flexible seating in my class. I really don’t think you need to incorporate it if you are good about not keeping your students at their desk all day. Be mindful about how long kiddos are in their seats. Get up and move!!!
Bottom line, don’t worry about following the latest trend if you don’t want to. You are a rock-star teacher no matter what you do!