I used to battle a too-big desk that took up space in the room, constantly collected piles of paper, and trapped me in a corner of the room (when I was actually sitting down, at least).
Then, my principal bought a few of these standing desks for some teachers to pilot, and they have (metaphorically) caught fire around my building!
Now, more teachers are getting these every time space opens up in the school budget for one.
At first, I didn't know how I'd feel about standing all day; my feet and legs already felt "done" by the time I went home at night. Would standing up even MORE be a bad thing?
Plus, I wondered if this desk was too primary - would I use this to its potential? Did I need it? Did it justify the expense to the school? Would I accidentally lecture more, or be tempted to spend too much time standing behind it?
However, this change ended up being a (positive) game-changer for me, our classroom layout, and the kids.
|"Communication Center" from Jonti-Craft|
We are using what the company Jonti-Craft calls a "Communications Center", but we call it a podium. Sometimes I use it with a tall stool to sit on, and sometimes there's nothing but me standing. My kids particularly like the whiteboard on the front; they doodle my name near the top.
|Front view of the "Communication Center"/Podium|
- It opened up a LOT of space in my classroom, which gave me more options for student desk arrangements and places I could go in an already-tight space.
- Those cubbies seen in the photo above? They're made up of removable dry-erase boards. Presto - I gained both a partial set of a formative assessment tool AND opened up some space to stack books and binders inside those spaces (instead of just folders, as shown).
- The pull-out drawers (on both sides of the podium are GREAT and help me keep my most frequently-used supplies nearby. I have entire drawers full of pens/highlighters, post-it notes, binder clips, etc. Other teachers keep papers in there (like to-grade piles, copies ready to be passed out, etc.)
- Having those important school supplies nearby freed up space in my classroom cabinets, too!
- I do NOT miss having big drawers for hanging files. Converting to this desk forced me to purge papers and re-arrange what I kept where... but in a good way.
- As long as I don't put TOO many heavy books and binders in it to weigh it down, I can wheel the podium to another classroom or space in the school if I need to. (I don't do it often, but I like the option for this. It would be good for anyone who does small groups in other rooms or who doesn't have his or her own classroom!)
- My daily step count went up from being able to easily get to/in/around my desk quickly. Thus, my Fitbit is a fan of this.
- Standing is better than sitting, right?
- I keep my teacher binder in the pull-out drawer and my laptop on the upper part that is angled, but you could easily reverse that.
- Since this desk takes up less space, I have more freedom with not only where I put it in the room, but where it is facing. It's also tall enough that I can stand behind it and see student desks or screens, which is nice during an assessment.
- Cup holders! I use one for water and one for pens.
- Having this has forced me to be (at least comparatively) more organized. There are "fewer" places to put large piles of papers, so I have to logically sort what goes where.
- You can't let it get too heavy if you want to wheel it somewhere else.
- The cubby spaces are JUST too short to hold binders or folders upright, so I have creatively stacked them sideways to still keep important things nearby.
- I still have to plug in my laptop, so I'm still a bit "chained" to locations in the room that have outlets.
- There are still days when I just want to sit down to do a task - like grade papers during a planning period - so I sometimes just sit at a student desk for a few minutes to do certain tasks.
- Likewise, I sometimes need to spread out, like when organizing/alphabetizing papers, so I also might spread out somewhere else for a little bit for this.
What do you think? Do you have one, want to try one, or have experience with one? Tell me in the comments! :-)
**NOTE: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I have no affiliation with Jonti Craft or any other company. The opinions stated here are mine alone, and are not representative of the opinions of other teachers or my school.