I must admit that I had to laugh this morning when I read the post “The Obituary of the Student Desk 1887-2013“.
In the classroom where I did the bulk of my teaching, it really didn’t apply. I was fortunate enough to have tables and individual chairs which ensured that there was no two days in a row where the arrangement was the same. It was actually interesting to predict who would be working with whom on a day to day basis.
One year, though, I did get assigned to teach a mathematics class. For that class, I had to take another room and the chairs were the more traditional classroom chair with the basket under the seat and the desk attached to the seat. There really was no real reason why the chairs had to stay in rows but, for the most part, they did. When it came time to work with a partner, usually it was a matter of sidling the desk to the person beside you. The problem with that was inevitably somebody got boxed in! It was possible to turn around and work with the person behind you but it wasn’t an easy task. Your typical secondary school student would try to stand up wearing the chair and spin. In either case, the room was filled with the noise of scraping chair feet.
Since this was the first time that I had used these types of desks, I also learned that there was a design for right handed students and left handed students. It did become an issue because I recall one token left handed desk in the classroom and, by chance, I had two left handed students. No kidding! I had to locate another desk for the other left handed student.
The obituary in the story just hit close to home, I guess!
I wonder … could this be the future of seating? Area students try swapping chairs for fitness balls in the classroom
As the new school year looms on the horizon, I wonder if there are other traditional things that would be worthy of a similar obituary. How about your classroom or your teaching practice. Is there something that will be laid to rest? Care to share?
Oh, and if you want to write your own formal obituary, here is a collection of templates to help you with the task!