Brooke Hochstein ‘17: Romeo High School students returned from winter break to a bit of a surprise. Mr. Slava, Mrs. Rienas, Mrs. Cubitt, and Mrs. Taite all received new desks and whiteboards for their classrooms. Putting the new learning tools to the test, the teachers and students were asked to review and critique the desks for the new high school. The new grey and orange desks are said to be more mobile, designed with wheels, and more comfortable, to create a more comfortable learning environment. Romeo purchased the furniture from a company called “Steelcase”, who will be designing the classrooms in the new building.
“Twelve teachers from the high school applied for the desks,” Mr. Slava said. “We had to write a letter and explain why we wanted them.”
Steelcase and a committee of administrators read the anonymously written letters, then chose two teachers from each building to receive the desks.
Mr. Slava was given one style of desks, while Mrs. Rienas was given 3 different styles to test out. The desks all have different height levels, ensuring every student can see and hear the teacher.
“I like how it’s an active learning space,” Mrs. Rienas said. “I put the students in a horseshoe shape and I go in the middle; all the students are visible so more kids contribute to the discussion. Students seem to be more engaged in lectures.”
The desks also came with whiteboards for each individual student’s use.
“The whiteboards are nice because it’s a different way of working in class and students can work in groups,” Mr. Slava said.
Students are slowly but surely adjusting to their new seats.
“I like the way I can move around and lean back,” a student of Mr. Slava, Jenelle Hess ‘17. “The desk itself is a little smaller than the old ones, but the seats are more comfortable.”
Mrs. Rienas acknowledges how all of her students are taking turns trying out the three different styles of desks to see which one they like best.
“The tall desks in the back are my favorite,” student of Mrs. Rienas, Alexis Spiegel ‘17 said. “I’m able to see the board better so I pay attention more.”
The overall purpose of the new desks is to kickstart the remodeling of the new high school. According to teachers and students comments, the desks are creating an updated, adaptable, and flexible style of learning.