MILWAUKEE, WI – December 2, 2021 – 91% of US K-12 educators have returned to classrooms instead of virtual learning this Fall but they see classrooms changing in indelible ways, according to National Business Furniture’s (NBF) (link to Classroom of the Future) poll.
The online poll revealed that while things are returning to normal, teachers are reconfiguring education environments to emphasize wellness and health more than ever.
- 46% have increased space between seating
- 35% incorporating more flexible seating like stools and desk chairs
- 20% have limited seating and 21% have limited classroom and meeting room capacity
Teachers are concerned with ensuring that students are provided with the most comfortable and flexible learning environment that they can provide. Poll participants (140 K-12 teachers from nearly every U.S. state) expressed that for them, the classroom of the future will be focused on the following four components:
WEAVE IN WELLNESS
Teachers surveyed noted that they will continue to up their game in terms of wellness strategies for the classroom. These include:
- More emphasis on social-emotional learning and ‘calm down corners’ that promote a focus on mental health.
- Non-cloth/non-porous surfaces that are easy to clean with disinfecting cleaners.
- Configuring rooms to include more personal space for mental wellness.
- Continued use of hand sanitizers and wipes.
Because it increases opportunities for student communication, flexible seating also provides ample opportunity for collaboration, according to survey participants. Teachers surveyed are incorporating:
- Tables that can be put together and taken apart to be single seats, charging ports in desks, and underdrawers in tables
- Set-ups that promote a space for a student-centered engagement/group work, an atmosphere that feels welcoming, quiet and maximizes productivity.
ADD MOVEMENT AND FLEXIBILITY
Flexible options that encourage exercise throughout the day are becoming a way that teachers can get students moving around and active.
- Flexible seating options including privacy booths to help with collaboration in one classroom, stadium seating in another, and in others, soft seating, including couches and bean bag chairs.
- Mobile teaching stations that allow teachers to float around the classroom rather than remain stationary.
- Standing desks, tents, Papasan chairs and wiggle seats for kids who need to move.
- Smart tables that kids in wheelchairs can reach.
- Movable (rolling) desk and chairs and desks/tables to house iPad or laptop, technology plug-ins
For more resources, visit flexible options for classrooms.
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