Don’t know what I don’t know

This is becoming such a prominent phrase in my life. I love to try new things but it is so much easier when someone else has tried them first so I at least have some idea of what to expect. I am embarking on a few new adventures here and I am nervous but hopeful.

First of all there is the flexible seating classroom. I don’t really know a lot of teachers, particularly high school science teachers, that have tried this. I am super excited about it and I truly think that it will increase engagement and that it works very well with my style of teaching. However, every time I show people the room or show people pictures their faces says a lot! The most common reaction is “I can’t wait to see how this works out.” I have pretty much heard that from every single person that I have shown the room to. I know most, if not all, of them are in my corner and rooting for me, but I also am feeling an ever increasing pressure to succeed because their faces say “You are crazy this will never work”. I might also mention that I tend read into things way more than I need to so who knows. But as the year draws closer I am getting more nervous. I still think it will be great but I don’t know what I don’t know and I DO know that there will be issues that arise that I never even imagined. I just need to be brave and work through it.

The other big adventure is my teachers pay teachers store. I completely failed at Etsy and I think a big part of that was I don’t know what I don’t know and my style just not being very popular. So here I am again trying to put my stuff out there. I know it is good stuff because I have seen it work. However, I don’t know what I don’t know. This time I have some good teachers and people that are willing to give very concrete and constructive criticism. Will it work in the end? Who knows. Will I ever sell one thing? God I hope so, but who knows.

Also there is this blog. I want to get more people to interact with me and read it but I can’t seem to do that. I probably really need to figure out pinterest. But hopefully eventually with enough out there people will start responding.

The moral of the story is that even though I don’t know what I don’t know I’m going to try anyway! Wish me luck!!

Flexible Seating

Flexible seating is kind of a new teaching trend. Teachers take the traditional desks (or most of them) out of the classroom and replace them with more comfortable seating options. Pretty much anything you can imagine depending on the teacher’s taste and the age of the students. I just got the green light to do it in my classroom!!!

I am really excited because I feel like the traditional desks are not really working for me. Students are really good at knowing how to disengage in those desks for may reasons. First, all of the teachers in my building have some sort of traditional classroom seating. Either traditional individual desks or small tables. This makes it easy for them to just go from class to class kind of feeling the same way.

Second, and one of my biggest hurdles, is that students have become really good at hiding things behind their book pile (like cells phones). I have tried several ways to get students to put away their phones during class and so far I have not had any long term success. My cell phone station worked for a little while but then students just stopped using it. I wanted it to just be the honors system because I don’t want to have to take the time to track who has their cell phone in the station or get the “oh I left mine in my locker” story. This year students will not be able to have anything with them at their seats except their chromebooks. I will have some storage stations so they can still bring their other stuff if they need to.

My challenge is that I am a science teacher. I feel like flex seating lends itself really well to an English or Social Studies class where there might be a lot of independent reading. Like a nice little library feel. At first I was really thinking “can I make this work in science?” then of course I thought why not?

I set up a donors choose for a few things but I am having a lot of luck with donations and I will be hitting up garage sales the next few weekends too. One of my other worries was cost. If I can get my donors choose funded I think I will be set! I also moved recently and purchased new furniture so I am going to use some of my old stuff and some old stuff from family.

Turns out it isn’t really as daunting as I first thought it would be and I think it will really fit my teaching style well. I know there will probably be some hurdles in the beginning and some classes will take to it better than others but here I am always trying new things! I will post pictures as soon as I have it all set up. Wish I could get my hands on that butterfly chair in my picture!!!!

Have you tried flexible seating? Leave me a comment with your story and pictures!!