Ever stop to think how a high school student might feel sitting at his desk for hours on end? Not to mention that it’s usually on a hard seat! The typical school day might last between 6 and 7 hours. Most students get breaks between class periods and these might only last about 3 to 5 minutes. Lunch period is a brief respite. If there’s a physical education course sometime during the week, that’s another one. There was a time when this course was offered on a daily basis. No more! For the most part, students will be sitting and listening to the mind-numbing drone of a few teachers! It’s no wonder most students become fidgety and continually ask to be excused to take a restroom break.
I’ve recently read some articles related to the topic and have come up with some thoughts on the subject. Why should students sit for long periods at a time? Why can’t they get up and stand for a bit? If they so choose, they could take a class standing up most of the time. What about using high table tops and stools instead of the standard student desks? Students could easily sit or stand at the table while they listen to the teacher or fellow classmates and take notes.
The teacher needs a break, too. If you’re like me, sitting at the desk is not an option. I stand most of the time and my feet usually feel the effects after a long day! With this new classroom arrangement I could sit on a stool and still be at eye level with my students. School administrators should be willing to give teachers new physical ways to impart instruction. The outdated classroom design should be updated in such a way that will permit the student to stretch his legs and have the freedom to move around. Most students need this flexibility and should have the option to do so! As teacher and principal, I’m willing to try out new ways to get students to stretch their imagination and acquire new knowledge. If getting up and about helps, well, let’s move it!