Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?


I try to use the following principle when reflecting on my students’ comfort:

If it isn’t comfortable for me, it probably isn’t for them

This is why I happily deviated from the time honoured tradition of having students sit on the mat. I once tried to sit with them on the mat and my back couldn’t tolerate it for more than two minutes. How are children supposed to maintain concentration when they are subjected to long arduous mat sessions?

The same goes for the latest fad – yoga balls. I know some find them extremely comfortable and they are meant to be great for posture, but my question is, would you swap your teacher chair for one?

In 11 years of teaching, ditching students’ desk chairs in favor of yoga balls is one of the best decisions Robbi Giuliano thinks she ever made.

Replacing stationary seats with inflatable bouncers has raised productivity in her fifth-graders at Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School, making students better able to focus on lessons while improving their balance and core strength, she said.

“I have more attentive children,” Giuliano said. “I’m able to get a lot done with them because they’re sitting on yoga balls.”

The giant rubber spheres, also called stability balls, come in different sizes, colors and degrees of firmness. By making the sitter work to stay balanced, the balls force muscle engagement and increased blood flow, leading to more alertness.

The exercise gear is part a larger effort to modernize schools based on research linking physical activity with better learning, said John Kilbourne, a professor of movement science at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich.

Traditional classroom setups are being challenged as teachers nationwide experiment with yoga balls, footrests and standing desks, which give children outlets to fidget without disrupting class.

“It’s the future of education,” Kilbourne said.

If yoga balls really are the future of education, beware of some of this type of activity in your classroom:

Click on the link to read Worst Examples of Teacher Discipline

Click on the link to read Why Students Misbehave

Click on the link to read Being a Teacher Makes Me Regret the Way I Treated My Teachers

Click on the link to read Useful Resources to Assist in Behavioural Management

Click on the link to read When Something Doesn’t Work – Try Again Until it Does


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One Response to “Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    Having small children on the mat for a short time to receive instructions for the next activities is a good way to have their concentrated attention. Once they have their instructions away they go. I don’t think it is so much a problem for small children as it is for when they grow bigger. Anyway by the time they are bigger they are better able to concentrate at their own desk. The point about comfort, sitting on a mat, is a good one. Sometimes I have sat on the mat in a circle with children for a particular game or activity. As I get older I find it increasingly difficult to get off the floor and back on my feet. I don’t know about yoga balls. I haven’t tried them but I can imagine some of the fun students would have with them instead of attending to the lesson. Must find out more.

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