The traditional epicenter of the classroom may be losing some of its sway. Many teachers today are reportedly getting rid of their desks, saying the bulky objects distance them from their students and obstruct classroom interaction. There’s no research as yet on how many teachers are going without desks, but the movement appears to be strongest in charter schools. A number of charters have banned teacher desks outright in an effort to promote greater engagement with students. The idea of a teacher just sitting behind a desk “kind of makes me nauseous, actually,” says a founding teacher and administrator at one charter. Deskless educator Jason Kamras, the 2005 National Teacher of the Year, notes that what really matters is not whether a teacher has a desk but how he or she uses it. “Does the teacher sit at it all day? Is it the central element in the room?” he asks.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.