With the start of the New Year, it is time to start trying something new. In that spirit, there has been a change to several classrooms in Mt. Hebron. In particular, certain teachers have been selected to test a new style of desk.
“They’re designed for intense note-taking, so you can move your hand down the page instead of across,” commented Science teacher Ms. Suzanne Stafford, one of the trial teachers.
The desk is unlike any currently in use. It looks like a futuristic white-wheeled chair with space to store a student’s backpack underneath. The desk surface is mounted on a swivel so it can be moved into any position the user feels comfortable with.
The idea behind creating this desk was to have a self-encompassing desk that can hold books and be used efficiently in classrooms. The wheels on the bottom are intended to make it easier to rearrange the classroom into various arrangements, thus providing a more dynamic and engaging classroom.
“I like the wheels,” stated junior Grace Dillon. “They let me move a bit while taking notes, which help me focus.”
While the idea is innovative, many complaints are starting to come in. Some freshmen who have used the chairs in their classes have described that their feet are unable to touch the ground and that there is no other place else for them to rest their feet comfortably. Others have complained about the lack of breaks on the wheels, saying that they cannot keep the chair from moving even if they wanted to.
However, these issues are trumped by the main problem, which is that the desk and the chair are only built for right-handed students. Even with the swiveling arm for the desk surface, it is only able to stop half-way, right in the center of the chair.
“I’m not really sure what they are thinking,” said Ms. Stafford. “If you wanted to use it left-handed, you would need a special desk.”
Ms. Stafford added that a left-handed student may be forced to sit uncomfortably in order to use the desk’s writing surface. All of the desks that are currently being tested are right-handed; it is not clear if they have a left-handed variant.
Finding flaws is the purpose of the testing period. The feelings about the new desks are varied.
“I think they are fun. Using it makes me feel like Professor X,” said senior Zach Banham. Many students share his positive view of the new tool, but many others are not sure if they will like using the desks at Mt. Hebron.
For now, all that there is to consider is the price. Each chair costs $289.00 for the school. If there are plans to fully implement them, it will happen down the road.