Texas Schools Debut New Flexible Seating for Their Students

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In the Coppell Independent School District northwest of Dallas, school officials decided to switch up the way students situate themselves in class. Instead of having desks with rigid chairs, they’ve opted to let students choose between sofas, chairs, different tables, and yoga balls to sit on while they learn. Fifth grader Emme Ratliff told WFAA, “I like sitting on a couch where there’s a table in front of me where I can just be comfortable and then have a good working space.”

The flexible seating movement in schools has been around for a while. In an article written last year by educator Kayla Delzer from (an online community for educators funded by the George Lucas Educational Foundation), Delzer takes readers through her decision to switch to flexible seating. While working at a Starbucks, it occurred to her that everyone was working so peacefully and engagingly that she wanted to mimic that in her classroom. “Some people chose the traditional chairs and tables while I opted for a big, comfy chair with my MacBook on my lap. The quiet music, perfect lighting, and overall aesthetics of the coffee shop were favorable for a variety of learners,” she writes about the coffee shop vibe, which she was able to bring to her school.

Delzer’s research concerning flexible seating classrooms says that the extended seating options result in students staying more physically fit, increasing enthusiasm, and even “creating a better oxygen flow to the brain.”