Mr. Saxon’s New and Improved Classroom

Mr. Saxon’s New and Improved Classroom

As about a month has passed of the 2015-2016 school year, the word has spread about Mr. Saxon’s new “open classroom” at Pascack Hills High School. Mr. Saxon, a teacher in the English department, has had his room refurbished for the new school year.

Mr. Saxon’s classroom is filled with couches, high-standing tables, and comfortable chairs. All of Mr. Saxon’s previous desks and chairs have been given to Mr. Goodman, who used this opportunity to replace the desks in his room that were relatively older.

Mr. Saxon is grateful for being given the privilege to receive new furniture. He believes it may be because of the amount of space in his large classroom. The English teacher is very happy about this new change and is excited to work with a new idea in education. The new furniture will serve as a bridge between academics and comfort.

When asked about the addition of the furniture, Mr. Saxon stated, “We want to engage students differently with courses, and we often forget that the physical class environment plays a large role in that.” In theory, Mr. Saxon believes that changing the way students interact with the space will change the way that they interact with the material, and consequently with each other.

Additionally, the new furniture requires more group work and more interaction between students. This will create more of a positive atmosphere in the learning environment because students may interact with those whom they typically would not speak to. Tables and couches force interaction, while an independent desk may not.

Katie Stern, a senior at Pascack Hills and one of Mr. Saxon’s students said, “I love the new furniture! The comfortable furniture makes the experience of the class more enjoyable.”

The students at Pascack Hills were extremely surprised by the arrival of the new furniture. Even students who do not have Mr. Saxon have come into Mr. Saxon’s classroom to view the new layout and have spent the Pascack Period completing academic work in his room.

Despite the positives, the new furniture may be viewed as controversial. Some people believe that it will be challenging for students to concentrate on academics if they are lounging on couches. So far, the new furniture has had a positive impact on education in Mr. Saxon’s classroom.

When asked how the new furniture will further improve learning, Mr. Saxon stated, “Couches and tables can only go so far. To make education work, we still need teachers strong in content, along with students invested in their learning.”

Evidently, the amount of learning that occurs in a classroom does not depend on the type of furniture. Mr. Saxon makes this idea clear to his students and colleagues.

Although the old-fashioned wooden desk and chair may be nearing the end of its time, the relationships between students, teachers, and the education that they are receiving is ultimately what creates an extremely positive atmosphere at Pascack Hills High School.

Be sure to check out Mr. Saxon’s “new and improved classroom” in room 222!