Elementary school classrooms are back in the classroom.
But teachers and administrators are taking note.
“They’ve been around for a long time,” said Dr. Michael Stoll, a pediatric neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who is the director of the California Center for Brain Injury and Stroke.
“But we’ve had the capacity to move so fast that there’s not a lot of space left.
The desks are moving more slowly and there’s a lot less energy being released.
So they’re going to be very important for some students.”
“The desks have been around a long, long time.”
Stoll and colleagues are working with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to figure out what’s causing the desks’ slow return to the classroom, which is why the state is asking parents to send in photos of their kids if they’d like them returned.
The school board is working with the California Department of Education to see if the desks can be repurposed to make room for other students in the classrooms.
“We’re working on a plan to put in new desks to replace the old ones,” said Lisa Brown, who oversees the district’s office of health and safety.
Brown said the district is also considering putting a classroom monitor in the desks so parents can see if they’re moving too quickly or if there are other kids in the same class.
While schools are being replaced with more high-tech classrooms, teachers and parents are still finding ways to get work done.
One of the first tasks for the district after the desks went back to the school was to find a new desk for its teacher assistant.
Stoll said he was surprised to find out that there was no new teacher assistant to replace her, despite the fact that the district has one.
“It’s like, ‘Oh, we’ve got to get rid of her,'” he said.
One reason for the desks to be reworked is that there is a shortage of teaching materials, said Karen Fisch, a principal in the district who has worked with the district for the past 15 years.
She said she was told that teachers and principals are not using classroom materials because they don’t have the money.
Fisch said teachers and principal need to have a classroom environment where they can be focused and able to teach effectively, something that is hard to find in an office.
The district will be testing the new desks for any potential hazards, she said.
She also said that some of the desks have become too small and it’s been difficult to adjust to the new seating arrangements.
Falk said the desks are also making life easier for students because they are made out of a material that can be used in classrooms without compromising their safety.
“They’re very lightweight,” Falk said.
“They make a lot more room in the school than the old desks.”