Active learning shows us that students learn best in a mobile environment. Allowing students to move around the classroom and collaborate with peers and teachers has shown great results. However, while many states still struggle with the “new,” one thing is certain; classroom structure will change. One of the biggest challenges within the classroom lies within the structure of the school furniture and how to encourage social distancing without discouraging the benefits of active learning.
Is this new challenge even a possibility? With the guidance of several organizations along with creative school furniture innovators, we’d like to say yes, the classroom structure can be reworked to meet current guidelines. However, we’d also like to mention that we recognize this is an unprecedented time that is constantly evolving in new directions. In this article, we’re presenting recommended guidelines along with innovative ways that may meet those guidelines.
Precautions to consider
According to Unicef, among several other organizations, several precautions need to be taken when/if the schools reopen in the fall. These precautions consider the overall health of students, staff, and the families involved. Below is a brief overview of the current items under consideration:
- Staggering the school day
- Rotating in-school and remote learning schedules to distance students
- Lunch and snacks remain in the classroom or are also staggered
- Increased sanitization for all classrooms and individuals
- Should masks be worn by all, by students, or just by the facility
- Wellness checks before entering the classroom
What the new classroom may look like
Given all of the unknowns, let us assume that classes (of some measure) will resume. Measures will undoubtedly need to be taken to follow social distancing guidelines. Here are a few ideas for the classrooms of the future.
Most school furniture is static. However, the need for wheels may increase with the new demand for rearranging the classroom. Mobile furniture allows teachers to easily configure, and reconfigure, the classroom as needed. This type of furniture helps in creating space while offering students the opportunity to “move.”
Unique furniture shapes
Active learning calls for groups. However, the traditional rectangular desks place students well under the recommended six-foot distance. With several manufactures flexing their creative talent, it may be time to look towards modern days designs. Be sure to check out companies such as KI that offer some of the most innovative school furniture on the market.
Untraditional teacher desks
Many of us have already seen the implementation of mobile work stations in the healthcare industry. Why not extend this method to the classroom? Movable podiums allow teachers access to all students with the convenience of taking a laptop or other tools with them. Further, many of these podiums are adjustable in height and offer shield protection.
Our team at School Furnishings would like to remind everyone that this article was written from a creative perspective. We are not health or medical officials and advisors, we’re a team of creative suppliers that can provide the school furniture that may be needed for the classrooms of the future.
When state guidelines are released for the school year, remember our team is here to help you find the best solution to maintain the safety of students and staff alike. For more information, please feel free to contact our team at (888) 331-6270.