• A classroom more like home

    Date: 01.28.11 | by Judge Tom.

    At Minooka Community High School in Minnesota, all desks have been removed in Nicole Bolek’s classroom. The U.S. history and government teacher asked her students to bring in more comfortable chairs including beanbag and video game chairs.

    In an effort to promote creativity and engage her students, Bolek took a chance that others may question. Inspired by the way Google decorated its offices, she believes in teaching outside the box. “I’m not the one that needs to learn,” she explains. “The kids are the ones that need to learn.” She observed that classroom discussions are richer since the change.

    Feedback from some of her studentsĀ is positive. Payton Laczynski likes the atmosphere – “It’s comfy,” she said. Senior Matt Andrews added that “It’s a nicer environment. It’s not so strict.” Bolek also has two tables and chairs in the classroom for those who prefer standard seating.

    What do you think of this idea? Would you pay closer attention if you were more comfortable in class? Or would it backfire and you’d find yourself dozing off if you were in a beanbag chair? Do you have any teachers who are a bit more creative in their teaching methods? Do you like it? Why or why not?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    • Shondre
      Mon, 14 Feb 2011 at 10:39

      I like this idea in some regards. I currently am a High School student and if my math teacher was to do this I would not like it! I only would like to see this in maybe a “easy bird course” but not in a class were it would be a distraction.
      Good point, Shondre. Thanks for writing.