New seating arrangement benefits student learning


AP research students are enjoying the various seating options in Oster’s flexible seating classroom.

Do you ever get tired of sitting in the same uncomfortable desk day after day? Imagine having the option to lounge on a yoga mat, sit at a coffee bar, work at a table with friends or complete an assignment from a balance cushion.

Molly Oster, English IV and AP Research teacher, sought to change her ordinary, traditional classroom to be extraordinary. She created the first flexible seating classroom at White Station, and, so far, her students are loving it.

Hannah Koonce (12), an AP Research student, is enjoying the options Oster’s flexible classroom has to offer.

“I like that every day I can try a new place to sit and see how I like it in order to find what is most comfortable to me,” Koonce said.

Oster wanted to make her classroom a comfortable, inclusive environment for her students to learn and thrive in. She was able to redesign her classroom to a flexible seating arrangement after launching three DonorsChoose projects that were quickly funded by former students, former teachers, friends, family and White Station parents. Oster also personally aided the change by bringing in furniture from her own house.

“I think the idea with a 21st century education is to meet students where they are because we’ve long recognized that all students are different types of learners, but the reality is that it’s hard to regularly address the different learning styles of 25 to 30 kids,” Oster said.  

Oster knows how essential the classroom setting is to learning and growing as a student.

“If I can at least provide a learning environment that is more conducive to the type of learner that they are, then that sets them up to digest the material better if they’re already better focused based on the environment,” Oster said.  

Max Milton, an English IV student, appreciates having options in Oster’s classroom.

“Ms. Oster’s room is really comfortable, unlike the average classroom. I like that there aren’t assigned seats, so everyone can try out the different seating options in the room,” Milton said. “It’s nice to have choices in learning.”

The redesigned classroom has made students eager to come to class and get to work.

“If they’re physically ready to be able to learn, that already is a step in the right direction,” Oster said.