HAVE YOU SEEN THESE CHAIRS?



U.S. HISTORY TEACHER ALLISON HARGROVE’S YELLOW CHAIR

 Photo by Stephanie Zhang


This chair was famous at Plymouth High School in Plymouth, IN where Hargrove formerly taught.

“It was my first year teaching, and I didn’t have a chair, and so my student, who was kind of—let’s use the word obnoxious, but very sweet and endearing and special to me—he stole it from his parents’ basement … I didn’t know it was stolen. I thought it was a gift, until I had parent-teacher conferences, and his dad said, ‘Hey, that chair is missing from my basement,’ but he let me keep it anyway. The chair has become kind of famous. People take pictures of it; it’s been in lots of different places, and it’s kind of like a recognized thing for when I taught at Plymouth. Everybody loved the chair. It was a really big deal.”

Hargrove said she has had the chair for nine years now, and she uses it when she teaches.

“I like the height, it’s really comfortable. It has a lot of sentimental value as well, so I use it a lot, and I talk about it a lot.”

ENGLISH TEACHER ALLYSON WELLS-PODELL’S BEANBAG AND ROCKING CHAIRS

 Photos by Stephanie Zhang


Wells-Podell said she drew inspiration for this space from innovative companies like Apple, Google and Facebook that all have spaces designed to foster brainstorming and invention. She said she allows students to use these chairs whenever they want.

“I cannot imagine how uncomfortable it must be for students to sit in these desks four periods a day, eight hours a day. I think it would be miserable, so even if students are working independently, they’re always free to get up and move around … I even have students who come in maybe before or after school who I’ve never had in class before, so some friends of students who I have first period sometimes come in and use the spaces, so lots of positive feedback, and students really do use the spaces when they have the chance to collaborate and move around.

“It’s all a slow work-in-progress. The beanbags were new this year, these chairs have been here for a few years now, so just whenever I have the chance to pick things up here and there I try to do that to make it a comfortable space.”


THE JACKSONIAN COUCH OF DEEP CONVERSATION

 Photo by Selena Qian


This chair can be found in the HiLite conference room. HiLite adviser Jim Streisel said the couch was relocated from the media center when there was a renovation in 2010.

“It was just a place where my students enjoy some really good conversations with each other, and a former student of mine, Jackson Whittaker, was one of the ringleaders of that conversation. Every time I’d walk in, they’d always be talking about something really, really deep, so they decided to (name) this couch ‘The Jacksonian Couch of Deep Conversation.’ Once things get on the wall in the HiLite room, they tend to stay, so it’s been here for five years.”


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Stephanie Zhang

About the Author

Selena Qian