Getting Comfy with Learning

Lucy Schaefer

School is boring. This is an opinion shared by many students all around the world. However, some teachers at Lakota West do whatever they can to enhance their student’s learning experiences. 

One way some teachers here enhance student learning  is with flexible seating. Flexible seating can be achieved as easily as letting students choose their own seats, or setting up a comfortable and sometimes unusual seating arrangements throughout the classroom. Putting couches, swivel chairs, standing desks and much more can all be classified as flexible seating arrangements.

Mrs. Clevidence, an 11th grade English teacher, has taken steps to decorate her room to create a comfortable and enjoyable learning experience for her students through flexible seating.

“Fewer students fall asleep. Now, if they’re tired, they sit on the exercise ball or stand at a standing desk. People work more frequently, and I also get more participation in discussions,” Mrs. Clevidence said, referring to the upsides of the new arrangements.

Mrs. Clevidence is only one of the many teachers at West who set up her classroom this way. Mrs. Dunn, an AP Literature teacher, also has these arrangements. “I don’t want it to be the Mrs. Dunn show and with seating set up this way instead of desks, I feel that I can achieve that easily,” she says. 

A big question is money. Where do teachers get the money to provide this seating? Spanish teacher, Mrs. Billups explained: “I purchased all tables and chairs except for two, in which I had bought with a GE star award. GE gave me money, and I used the money from that.”

Along with the positives, seating patterns like couches, and special chairs and tables can have drawbacks. Mrs. Cumberledge, a Sociology and Government teacher, elaborated. “It’s hard keeping the class organized. When we do group work, we have to move things around. However, when it comes to drawbacks, the positive outweighs the negative.”

Although many students may not enjoy school, these four teachers, and many other teachers, are taking the necessary steps to make their students comfortable in school. As Mrs. Cumberledge says, “The reason I’m here is for [the students]. I wanted them to have a comfortable learning experience.”