Flexible Seating- Parent Letter
When I decided to move the classroom to a flexible seating model, I thought through every aspect of the decision. What would I do on the first day? How would the kiddos choose their seats each day without a riot ensuing? How would I make sure my kiddos that were in intervention when the day started got to pick their seats first at times? How would a sub handle the seating? But first-how would I talk with the parents about my reasoning behind the change?
I’ll answer all the other questions in a different post, but let’s focus on the parent conversation today. Parents can make or break a creative classroom idea. When you have parent support, it’s like walking on air-everything is easy and positive and you feel like the world is your oyster. When parents don’t understand your reasoning behind a project, they can shut it down before it even gets started. I knew I had to get parents on board the flexible seating train BEFORE school started so they had time to process the change.
To do this, I wrote them a letter. In it, I included the details of the room make-over process, the research that supported my move to flexible seating and how it would logistically work each day in the classroom. I also included a printed copy of an article by Herman Miller, a design firm out of Grand Rapids, MI.
I highly encourage you to download a free copy of this letter, edit it to your needs and send it home to parents before you formally introduce flexible seating to both them and the students. It will give them time to process the change, ask questions and become comfortable with the research behind the extraordinary work you are doing in your classroom.
I will add that as of today, I have not had a single parent challenge our new classroom philosophy. Quite the opposite-parents are coming in to tour, to say they would have done so much better as a learner with this environment, bringing their OWN parents through to see the room-it’s a very, very positive reaction. I hope your parents are just as encouraging!