A couple of years ago I got rid of my classroom desk. I overheard a student talking about a teacher, saying that “teacher just sits there behind the desk all day…” I didn’t know if they were talking about me or not. I knew that they could be. I knew that I spent a lot of time at my desk, especially after lunch. I was tired and wanted to sit down. I realized more often than not students came to me with questions instead of the other way around. I tried to resist the urge to sit at the desk, but I kept finding myself there, sitting at the desk. So I got rid of it. If I didn’t have a desk no one could say I just sat at it!
In the process of getting rid of the desk I totally redesigned the room into what I think of now as a maker space. (At the time I hadn’t heard the term.) Student computer work stations around the perimeter of the room and work tables in the middle. It worked great for a while. I was on my feet walking the room all day. Yes I was tired at the end of the day, but the improved interactions with kids made it worth it.
When we came back from winter break I found a new chair in the room. My principal got me a new “draftsman chair” so that I could sit at the big work tables. Bless his heart. He went out of his way to get this chair just for me, so I sat in it. A lot. I soon found that one of the large work tables became my desk, and I sat there, a lot. Again.
Don’t get me wrong, I need a workstation. I have to take attendance on a computer, and the tablets I have access to don’t work so well for that. I have to have a computer to demonstrate what the students are supposed to be learning, and that computer has to be somewhere. So that spot becomes a work station. I need to keep reminding myself it is a workstation, not a Mark station.
So the nice new chair is now sitting in the corner of the room by the sink. I found it makes a nice coat rack. I need to keep walking the room.