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Ruff Draft

The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft

The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft

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Is classroom flexibility changing student learning?

Flexible+seating+is+changing+the+way+students+are+learning.+
Jordan Moore
Flexible seating is changing the way students are learning.

Noticeably enough, a lot of teachers’ classrooms at Edmond Memorial High School have been changing as educational theories and practices changed and these changes include seating, wallpaper and lighting. Many questions have arisen, though, as to how the newer classroom settings affect student learning. 

Sophomore Intro to Advanced English teacher Stephanie West began the changing process slowly before completely changing her room for the 2022-2023 school year because she had moved classrooms. Using this opportunity, West put up new wallpaper, painted, added new chairs and lighting to the room.  

“After the first few years of being here at Memorial, I noticed that I needed to change it up for my students to make a more comfortable environment,” West said.  

West thought that changing the environment, it would help students with their anxiety. Students sometimes have negative feelings surrounding school, so by creating a more home-like environment, West reduces students’ associations with school in her class. 

West is not the only teacher to have changed her room though. Senior English, Shakespeare and Humanities teacher Melanie Stephens has a variety of tables and chairs, including items for students that help with anxiety. Stephen’s room is known to have flexible seating, much like West. 

“There is quite a bit of research that states that when in a comfortable and flexible environment, students tend to be more into their work and maybe focus more,” Stephens said. 

Students are the ones that these classroom changes affect most, with each student having different experiences with flexible seating. Senior Kayla Long believes that classroom settings can affect students differently, as some work better while some struggle to focus.

“Depending on the students and the class, I feel that it could be a really good thing,” Long said. 

Senior Connor Halley, believes it does depend on how students respond to the classroom, as it all depends on how a student learns and retains information. 

“In my opinion, the classroom setting is much more important than the seating. In a room that is entirely blank, it feels less welcoming and more strict,” Halley said. 

Despite this, many students do not thrive in flexible environments either. Fellow student Connor Arledge has seen students take advantage of the flexibility and has used it to become lazy and to pay attention. Which can disrupt class and the teacher’s lesson, making it difficult to learn. 

“I don’t believe that classrooms should be heavily decorated because it might lead to distractions for some students,” Arledge said. 

Feelings among students and teachers vary as some students think it all depends on the level of flexibility and the specific students in such a class, but all around if the teacher believes it’ll help students remain focused, then it is up to the teacher to make that decision. 

Contact Jordan Graham and Jordan Moore at [email protected] 

About the Contributors
Jordan Graham
Jordan Graham, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Hello! I am Jordan Graham and a senior here at memorial. I am currently one of the Co-Editors and a fourth year journalist for Ruff Draft! Outside of school, I am an Eagle scout and have a love for drawing and all things art. I’m excited for my last year in Newspaper and look forward to this amazing year. 
Jordan Moore
Jordan Moore, Staff Writer
Hey there! My name is Jordan Moore, I’m a sophomore here at Memorial. This will be my first year on staff, the intro class was so fun! Outside of school, I work at a pizza parlor, and work on our property. Fun fact about me is that I have 10 other siblings, and they’re all boys! I love reading, and the outdoors. I hope this year is amazing, and I will continue to write for the Ruff Draft for many years to come!