You may notice something different at your child's school open house this year–no teacher's desk. More and more teachers are joining the movement to #DitchtheDesk and eliminate their giant teacher desks from the classroom landscape.

In an office setting, #ditchthedesk is more of an idea that you leave the office to explore the outside but for educators, it literally means throwing your old, clunky "teacher desk" to the curb.

As teachers head back into their classrooms this week to get ready for the new year, more and more photos flooded my social media newsfeed with the hashtag #ditchthedesk. I'm all for getting rid of unnecessary furniture but couldn't wrap my head around the idea of teachers throwing out their '"home base." So I asked, "What's up with this no-desk classroom thing?"

More than half the teachers here [Parker Elementary School] do it. We do it because teacher desks are HUGE and modern-day teaching requires so much space... no one really even sits there. And there are so many kids who need to move!! - J. Magalhaes, Parker Elementary School.

J. Magalhaes Parker School

Teachers who've opted to dump their giant desks use a combination of cabinets, racks, shelves, and rolling carts to contain the things they need throughout the year rather than stuffing it into and on top of the giant desk.

Many are using horseshoe-shaped tables (or kidney tables) to do their work at, and find students are more comfortable approaching them and working there, too, because of the seating arrangement. Many teachers said it even forced them to stay more organized.

Horseshoe Table in Mrs. Magalhaes Parker School Classroom
Horseshoe Table in Mrs. Magalhaes Parker School Classroom

I've been desk-free for 7 years.  I co-teach and neither of us have desks. I've never missed it!  - D. Fleurent, Potter Elementary School

Clearly, this is not a new trend but it certainly is becoming more and more popular among teachers. Many say they never even sat at the desk, nevermind worked at the desk, making it unnecessary and very likely to become a "clutter-collector." Many teachers said they tried to move the giant desks out of the way but no matter where they ended up, it still took up valuable space.

photo: S. Bare

Some tips for anyone considering going desk-free? Get a filing cabinet and keep a small table near your teacher's table for your mugs, pencils, and whatnots.

Did you already #ditchthedesk? Take our poll below!

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