The four corners of the classroom is an ideal place for learning. However, given that you cannot always control the number of students you will be teaching, it would be challenging to make sure that you are giving them equal attention and that all of them are maximising their opportunities to learn. That is why you have to find ways to make things work, and one of them could be the seating arrangement.
How your students are seated could make a big impact on their learning. The reality about seating plans (despite any arrangement), however, is that there could be issues and interruptions along the way. After all, you also have to factor in each student’s circumstances. Some of them could be small in height that it is difficult for them to see the board or they could have eyesight problems (near or farsightedness) that keeps them from properly reading what is on the board.
Many teachers then ask, what really is the best seating plan for classrooms? The short answer is there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
What a Good Seating Plan Is
At its core, a good seating plan is one that satisfies each of your pupils’ needs. Every student has unique learning styles. Some prefer to work alone, while others thrive being in a group. A number of them might also prefer watching learning videos, while a few excel at spending time getting their hands busy with hands-on materials. All these different needs present the need for different seating configurations.
For instance, desks in rows are ideal for improving concentration and individual work. Circular tables, on the other hand, are good for collaboration since everybody will be face-to-face. If you still cannot decide, then it is best to get ones that you could configure. This is why it is important to invest in flexible furniture, like moveable classroom chairs that Australia stores provide. This could help you easily rearrange the classroom as you please.
Do a survey to know which lessons or classroom activities they want for individual work or a collaborative one. Draft a profile of each student’s learning style, as well.
Who Sits Where
More than the desk or furniture arrangement, the actual student arrangement matters. The decision on who sits where affects the way students concentrate on lessons. Some teachers use the arrangement where each student is seated next to the opposite gender. The idea is most peer groups tend to be gender-based, and so when same genders are seated next to each other, there is a higher likelihood of unnecessary talks and reduced concentration on lessons.
Other times, teachers consider the open field approach, where students are free to decide where they will sit. By letting them be close to people they want to work with, they thrive academically and socially. It is ideal to have a balance of teacher-initiated and student-preferred seating plan.
Again, there is no one, single ideal seating plan for students. The best arrangement satisfies the needs of students and harnesses social relationships to bring out academic success.