Classroom Management Tips For New Seating Arrangements


For a new teacher's classroom arrangements, the classroom seating chart might look typically standard – usually with frontal rows. With a new class, this is probably a good option as a new teacher needs to teach first and talk later. The frontal classroom seating arrangement is probably the best way to go in terms of getting to know a new class and exercising classroom control.

There will naturally come a time however when a teacher will want to opt for group or pair work as one of the primary activities in the lesson plan. If you have not until now, you might want to plan for a brief 'getting to know you' activity. Experiment a bit. Are the pupils familiar with each other? Who have not got to know yet? This is a good way to 'test' different classroom arrangements and see how well they appeal to you and your classroom management style.

New Classroom Seating Arrangements

Try getting the students to talk about themselves (kids love to do this) for about one to two minutes. The couple who has the longest list wins. The easiest type of seating arrangements for executing this type of ice breaker is either turning around the desks to face another pair, or walking around the room trying to find a student who has the same interests. (example: who likes vanilla ice-cream, same number of brothers or sisters, same mode of transport)

Using Classroom Procedures

Using classroom procedures is an important part of effective classroom management for classroom arrangements such as pair work or group work.

Just in a getting-to-know-you activity alone, students need to know several classroom procedures. They need to know:

  • the teacher's classroom procedure for group or pair work. (the actual task itself)
  • the procedure for classroom seating arrangements for either getting up or sitting down during the task
  • the procedure for ending the group or pair work and coming back to the original seating plan.

Always plan for at least three to four different procedures for every task that you intend to do in the classroom. This is part of your management plan and all effective bedroom managers have them. When you do this well over time, you can teach more and talk less as students will be ingrained and know your procedures so well that you will not need to spend time with explicit classroom instruction on this. However, you will need to remind them every now and then. Do not be surprised if they forget!


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