Monday, August 23, 2010

Circles Versus Rows

A new fall semester begins and so does the debate of whether circles or rows is the default position for desks in the classroom. The row adherents argue that rows are the standard position so if you want to use circles you must have your students move their desks back into rows before they leave the room.

The circle fans argue that circles provide a better educational environment. They also argue that no one sets the room up in circles for their students, so they shouldn't be forced to move them back to rows when they leave.

The row contingent has just now fired back with a NEW arguement for rows. They claim that it is easier for the cleaning staff to clean if the classroom is in rows. Therefore, circle faculty, even if they don't care about their fellow pro-row faculty, should put the classroom into rows when they finish class since it is more curteous toward the staff.

I'm in the middle of the row/circle debate - literally. The person who teaches before me is a circle fan. The person who teaches after me is a row fan. Being flexible, I can teach to a circle or a row. However, I'm going to get glared at by my row colleague for the circle even though I didn't have a hand in creating the circle. It also doesn't seem FAIR to require my students to re-establish the room into rows when we did not 'circle-ize it' to begin with.

It almost makes me long for the days when desks were bolted down to the floor.


Janice said...

I would be so tempted to set up MY classroom seating in a star or some other strange configuration, just to vex everyone!

Tim Lacy said...

Hah! Funny post.