What is the best classroom seating arrangement for students?

As the school year draws near many teachers are considering, what can I do to make my job easier? New teachers may consider, what can I do to ensure that I survive my first year? What can I do to survive my first month? Even my first three months?

There are many suggestions for developing classroom management. However, for schools with diverse ethnicities classroom seating is a primary factor to consider. Many Black and Hispanic students thrive in a classroom where the classroom seating is consistent with their cultural background.

As a former math teacher, I used a classroom seating arrangement that allowed for all students to thrive. The classroom seating enabled students the opportunity to constructively collaborate while providing me as a teacher an opportunity to implement classroom discipline that minimized classroom distractions.

The way that I implemented classroom seating was in clusters. The clusters were arranged in clusters of four. I began this arrangement with a cluster of four in the middle of the room. Then each additional cluster was placed in a circle around the center cluster.

When students reported to class on the first day, I allowed them to sit where they wanted. Of course, this may not be the best strategy for early primary students. As the year progressed, when a student became a disciplinary challenge I would move them to the center cluster. This provided me an opportunity to monitor their behavior and at the same time help other students as I circled in the inner track of the cluster.

One thing that you must consider is the individual cluster classroom seating. Make sure that none of your students are sitting with their backs to the front chalkboard. This will alleviate any challenges from administrators who monitor your progress.


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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.



“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.

~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor

“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”

~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President