• Amber Chandler

"Grand opening" of flexible seating

Today was the "grand opening" of flexible seating in my classroom. I hadn't really thought of it that way, but my daughter surprised me this morning with a "ribbon cutting" to celebrate the beginning of this new adventure. We had an iced coffee toast and all. My stomach was churning, and I was sweating as students started to arrive. I know, in my heart of hearts, and almost two decades of experience, that students will learn best in a safe and engaging environment where the teacher facilitates learning that is meaningful and individualized. However, I had to convince my sleep-deprived-first-day-of-school self that it would all work out. What if they all just mobbed the room, jumping from ottoman to bungee chair, to yoga ball before I could explain how this would all work?

The reactions were interesting. Some kiddos were downright ecstatic. Others were more timid. Peculiarly, several students asked "will it always be like this?" The best reaction of the day was from a boy in my period 5/6 class who asked if he could go get his phone so he could take a picture of the room to show his mom!

I couldn't have asked for a better first day. This was definitely the best one of my career. I had an idea--the flexible ELA classroom--that evolved into so much more. Experiencing that reality today was amazingly rewarding.

One of the most intriguing facts to me is that I felt 100% at home in this new space. It feels like when I got my nose pierced at 40 years old. When I decided to finally get it done (after wanting to since I was a teenager) it seemed like a crazy thing to do, but then, once I had it, it seemed like I always had--even my students hadn't noticed the new orange stud in my right nostril. When I pointed this out to them, one of my students said, "I don't know. It just seems like you'd have a nose ring." I guess I'm feeling that if you know me, I just seem like the kind of person who'd love flexible seating.

I'm attaching the slideshow I used to introduce the setting here, just in case anyone is curious :)

#Flexibleseating #firstdayofschool #differentiation #frontiermiddleschool