Thursday, 30 July 2009

Wheelie chairs

"Never give students chairs on wheels - they go bananas" noted a teacher to me recently. Actually, surprise surprise, I wholeheartedly disagreed.

I've introduced seats on wheels in some very difficult schools, and whilst there may be a little over excitement at first, the novelty of wheeling around soon wears off for the vast majority. Students really do appreciate professional office standard furniture in the correct place. And different places in schools require a variety of FF&E (furniture, fixtures and fittings) for them to work efficiently.

We expect students to sit for vast amounts of time - for all sorts of well rehearsed reasons they need to have effective ergonomic seats that are appropriate for the activities underway. Actually if we are really expecting students to be collaborative, work with each other and move groups, wheels are precisely what they do need, rather than have students carrying chairs, with legs at eye level around the place.

The days of the very cheapest moulded chair with no 'give' in them have surely gone as we re-equip schools today. There are still too many of them in existence and ... boy - are they uncomfortable. No wonder students sitting on them fidget!


Anonymous said...

i agree, most chairs in my school almost cause pupils to misbehave due to their extreme discomfort. THey are horrible!

Anonymous said...

Never give some students chairs on wheels. Never give some students chairs.
What you are really saying is that some students are not particularly academically inclined or have some kind of problem (short term/long term/difficult to define/just problems). Some students need more than just sitting still for hour, listening. We have a system that is too academically inclined. This is too small a space to explain isn't it? Suffice to say most kids cope with wheelie chairs.
Don't get me started on the forcing of truanting kids back into the classroom and expecting them to behave like nothing has happened. These kids really shouldn't be put on wheelie chairs.

Have a guess on whether I'm in inner city or leafy suburb.

Anonymous said...

i teach in a school with wheelie chairs. what we need to do is get rid of them. you live in a fantasy world. i am sure many kids in many schools can cope with them but do not generalise and assume they all can. but then maybe i teach in a school which doesn't have the senior management that wants to sort out minor problems, so minor things like silly wheelie chair behaviour is let go .............. and you can see the ongoing problems we have in the trenches. i am so fed up with all this stuff i could cry..... and i don't think i am the only one.
well fed up with teaching in england

ps. i used to love teaching!

Gareth Long said...

Thanks for the comment I appreciate you reading the blog. Perhaps I should have said most schools can cope.... It's sad to read your post though as many schools are getting better and better. And, in the real world many do (honestly) select these chairs very deliberately because of the agility they provide in lessons.

But your views are appreciated and respected.