How is Classroom Management Improved By Standing Desks?
Improving Classroom Management
Teachers and parents alike heave a collective sigh when debating the great obstacle to learning: classroom management. Higher stress and burnout can come from lack of structure. Subsequently, school districts find themselves experiencing a high turnover of seasoned teachers. Poor management causes students to suffer both academically and socially. Teachers’ unions, parents associations, and student advocates alike recognize the need for improved classrooms.
But is There a Feasible Solution?
The American Psychology Association recommends implementing a tiered series of classroom management strategies. APA's outline is comprehensive and likely effective; however, it does not address the primary challenge to managing a classroom. This prioritizes the students' attention - which prevents distractions and minimizes disruptions. And the first barrier to better management is physical - it's the desks.
The Shift to Standing
The simple maneuver of transitioning to standing desks has a profound effect on students and teachers. Students benefit from improved health, academic learning, and socialization skills. Teachers no longer struggle from the obstacle of a chaotic classroom. Adopting a standing desk policy has an immediate effect on eliminating classroom distractions and disruptions.
Students also benefit from an extra 9 minutes per hour of instruction. To be precise, those are 9 minutes of quality, engaged learning each hour, every day! Additionally, research has shown that standing desks lead to an increase in classroom attention by 15%.
What's Wrong with Traditional Desks?
Simply, they result in three major factors that inhibit learning: confinement, passive learning, and a sedentary or relaxed approach. Standing desks benefits include empowering the student, improving mental alertness, and promoting active learning. Lack of focus is usually caused when students become physically comfortable in their seats and let their minds wander from the lesson. But standing desks eliminate the sedentary factor delivered by chairs. By virtue of their posture, students take a giant leap towards active learning when they use standing desks.
Beyond learning academic subjects, pre-K to grade 12 is the time when the foundations for a student’s socialization skills are built. Standing desks aid in developing soft skills such as self-awareness. They also encourage active learning by empowering children to self-assess themselves and decide when to use the accompanying stool. This promotes better classrooms and reduces stress for both students and teachers who are otherwise constantly trying to engage those who have 'switched off'.
In the traditional classroom design, the arrangement of desks in rows limits the interaction between students and teacher. In fact, the desk arrangement creates an invisible barrier between the teacher and students. However, the community effect of standing desks means teachers can address smaller groups of students, providing ease of managing classrooms, which reduces stress and teacher burnout rates in the long run.
Aiding in Classroom Management
Enhanced management is a catalyst for student engagement. Subsequently, students are in a better position to collaborate and complete group assignments. As a result of standing desks, students learn from each other. Meanwhile, the teacher can focus on students at an individual level.
As an incentive for school districts to implement a standing desk policy, consider the effort versus return on investment. Standing desks benefit the management of classrooms with little effort on the part of the teacher. The passive classroom management tool has an almost immediate return on investment in terms of better student behavior and use of teacher-student interaction. When school districts implement the use of standing desks, the students and teachers instantly begin to experience a chaos-free learning environment.