What’s Up With “Wheely Chairs?”

Hallie Lint

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     Wheely chairs: every student’s dream and every teacher’s nightmare. These highly acclaimed chairs are in over half of the classrooms throughout Dover High School. They are technically called chairs with casters, but most people just call them wheely chairs or office chairs. “Wheely chairs” allow you to glide around the school with ease without even having to stand up! They are beloved by many of Dover’s high school students, but what do the teachers think? I have asked six different teachers about their opinion on these special chairs and received some surprising results.

 

     Mr. O’Donnell, one of the World History teachers in the building, likes having “wheely chairs” in his class. Not only because “It allows for more flexibility in the classroom,” but also for the preservation of our new school. “When moving desks in the old school, sliding the desks/chairs could damage the floors over time,” he explained. Mr. O’Donnell would put “wheely chairs” in the school if it was up to him.

     Mrs. McConnell is an Algebra II and AP Statistics teacher who “only has 2 chairs with wheels.” However, she doesn’t think she would “like an entire classroom with wheeled chairs.” That is understandable because she has “noticed that sometimes the students who sit in them have extra energy and tend to roll back and forth, and it can be distracting.” Mrs. McConnell would not put chairs with wheels in the school if it was her choice.

     Ms. Nign, an Honors Biology teacher, is indifferent to the idea of the “wheely chairs” in the school rooms because she does not already have them in her class. She presumes “this was left as teacher preference. If pressed, however, then I would say, yes, bring in the wheels.” For those of you “wheely chair” lovers, you’ve got Ms. Nign on your side.

     Along with Ms. Nign, Mrs. Rees is indifferent to “wheely chairs” throughout the building. She is one of the English Language Arts teachers in our school, with a room full of wheeled chairs. She believes that “It’s personal preference, really.” Mrs. Rees affirms that “I don’t mind the wheels, and they make it harder to lean and tip chairs back.” Mrs. Rees would put these chairs in the school if she got to choose.

     Mrs. Miller, however, does not like having these chairs in her classroom. She is a Spanish I, IV, and V teacher. She acknowledges that “many students don’t take the wheely chairs for granted.” Still, she has noted that “there are many who cannot keep from rolling around during class.” Mrs. Miller would not put “wheely chairs” in the school rooms if it was her pick.

     Mrs. Nottingham, the Crimsonian advisor and literature teacher, is also a supporter of these wonderful wheels. She has an entire classroom of wheeled chairs and desks. She likes “that they are silent when students move around. I also like that students can move around and face each other with ease,” which can be especially helpful when doing group work. If it was her decision, Mrs. Nottingham would put “wheely chairs” in the school.

     This group of teachers had varying opinions on “wheely chairs” from what you might originally assume. Surprisingly, only two of the six teachers interviewed flat out eliminated the chairs in their hypothetical choice of keeping or removing wheely chairs from the building. I expected almost every teacher to veto “wheely chairs” in the school, but the shocking reality of the situation is that more teachers like having them than not.