For every class this year, my 8th graders have been sitting in desks (with chairs) that are arranged in rows. Last Monday, I raced to get there a minute or 2 earlier (we have only 15 minutes between sessions to get our class ready) and I carefully moved the rows aside to create a space in the middle of the room. I used one desk to create a prayer center and arranged 13 chairs in a circle around it.
When the kids arrived they were surprised at the new arrangement and asked if it was like this already or if I did it. I told them that this is how I preferred to have them arranged. They really liked it and I thought it created a much better environment for faith formation, especially our prayer moments. They told me they would like it arranged like this regularly.
I don’t mind doing that but it does involve a good deal of racing around before class and I have to stay longer afterwards to put things back the way I found them. For me, it’s worth it because I think that the learning environment has an effect on how we learn and how we behave.