How ‘flex seating’ aims to better children’s learning


TEA, S.D. (KELO) – The first day of school can make any kid nervous, and teachers in the Tea Area School District are working to make things more comfortable for them.

For some kids, it can be hard to focus in class when you’re stuck at a desk, this new seating arrangement gives them a chance to “flex” how they typically learn.

“I have to be honest: This is really strange,” Fourth-grade teacher Amanda Pickett said.

For the students too.

“I was thinking, ‘Where am I going to put my supplies?’ Because we didn’t have desks and I was really confused,” Fifth-grader Lola Lopez said.

Some teachers at Tea Area Legacy and across the school district, are exploring a new seating style called “Flex Seating,” where kids are encouraged to sit wherever they want during the class.

“They have a spot, but they don’t have a spot with their name on it,” Pickett said.

There is a method to what seems like madness, as fifth grade teacher Tory Johnson, uses it as a chance for kids to gain some independence.

“I feel like they own their learning a little bit more and they have to think about, ‘OK. Where am I going to sit that’s going to be the best spot for me,” Johnson said.

And for students like Lopez, that seems to be the case.

“I like it! My favorite spot is by the pillows over there, so it’s really fun,” Lopez said.

The goal of this teacher driven experiment is to create an environment that’s easier for kids to learn.

“My friends would probably sit by me, but sometimes I sit elsewhere because then it… basically, like I would get distracted sometimes,” Lopez said.

“I like to be comfortable when I’m learning or doing something that I need to be focused with. One of the nice things is they have that option and every day they can move or choose to sit in the same spot so they’re just comfortable,” Pickett said.

“It actually makes me feel really good because I don’t have to see the same old things all of the time and I can see different people, so I can talk with them,” Lopez said.

To see what other innovations the Tea Area School District is making you can check out their Facebook page.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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