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Reimagining Learning Spaces This New School Year

July 23, 2021 jill Blog

 

By Eileen Roybal

Surviving the “EdVenture” that was 2020 lands stakeholders in a unique situation to take advantage of an opportunity to reimagine learning spaces. Choosing the proper desking and seating is a great place to start.

Desks and chairs are often the first things people notice when entering an educational space. And, after spending long periods of time using these furniture pieces, the desks and chairs are often what students remember most.

When furnishing schools, decision-makers must be mindful of the possibility of change in our community and world, continue to create the best instructional environments, and remain centered on the well-being of our students.

As we have learned, the world around us can change quickly, and those changes may have direct impact on the daily operations within a school. Outfitting your spaces with desking and seating that can facilitate a quick move if spaces need to adapt is important.

Some ways to incorporate those attributes are:

  • Ensuring the casters on chairs and desks are heavy-duty helps furniture last longer.
  • Purchasing cantilever chairs that can be placed on top of the desks will facilitate a quick move and/or daily cleaning.
  • Upgrading to Makerspace tables promotes both flexibility and durability within your spaces.
  • Furnishing your classrooms with laminate-topped desks and tables that have polyurethane textured spray edges promotes cleanliness and protects the furniture from abrasion, corrosion, and impact.

Whether students will be separated for safety, brought together for collaboration, or arranged to maximize the footprint of your classroom spaces, choosing functional desking and seating will help create the best instructional environment.

  • Individual desks that are mobile, lightweight yet sturdy, and have an interesting shape – like triangle, diamond, or curls and ripples – help make reconfiguring learning spaces quick, efficient, and even fun!
  • Desks and chairs on casters make it easy for teachers or students to break out as individual learners for testing or safety and then come together for collaboration.
  • Adjustable height desks and tech tables adds variety to help meet the needs of various learning styles. Giving some students the choice to stand helps foster engagement.

We know students learn best when they are comfortable and feel safe. Focusing on overall student well-being is easier with ergonomic, durable, and inviting furniture.

Additionally, using the best materials help ensure your students remain safe in school.

  • Chairs that rock, swivel, and encourage healthy posture promote student engagement.
  • Desking with tops large enough to accommodate a laptop and notebook give the student plenty of room to learn efficiently. Adding backpack hooks or book boxes provide storage space while keeping floors clutter-free and clean.
  • Desking made of high-quality high-pressure laminate or hard plastic tops are the best for frequent cleaning and disinfecting.

Just as having a one-size-fits-all approach to education does not work, differentiating classroom furnishings in necessary for success.

Mixing and matching a variety of high-quality, appealing desking and seating while maintaining practicality, mobility, and durability will prove to be the best use of school furniture funds.

Providing the best learning environment will motivate and energize educators and students alike.

Eileen Roybal spent more than a decade as a classroom teacher and is now a sales representative with USACapitol, a leading supplier of chairs, tables, desking and accessories, www.usacapitol.com

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