Early elementary classrooms often look nothing like they used to. The emerging trend of flexible seating has dramatically changed the way we look at early education; these curiously colorful classrooms are conscious of the different ways that children learn. They emphasize the power of personal choice and aim to provide comfort and prevent disquiet in the classroom.

Unfortunately, the post-COVID world requires significantly more structure than what is offered in these funky classrooms. Reconfiguring a flexible classroom should aim to keep the "fun" in "functional" while adapting to more traditional layouts and safe distancing precautions. Like all classrooms, there should be an acute focus on cleanliness procedures and ample disinfectants and child-friendly sanitizers should be used throughout. See more options and advice in our complete guide to reimagining the post-COVID classroom.


Whether you're retrofitting, renovating, or reinventing your classroom, NBF has the tools you need to make a safe return to the classroom. Contact us at 800-558-1010 for details about our complimentary space planning and design services.


Shop All Education Furniture



A Teacher Desk, Chair, Storage
B Teacher's Assistant Desk, Chair
C Whiteboard
D Storage Cubbies
E Storage Cabinets
F Tablet / Laptop Cart
G Student Chair
H Student Stool

J Yoga Ball Seating
K Flexible Seating
L Student Table
M Standing-Height Student Table
N Student Desk
O Kidney-Shaped Table
P Collaborative Rug
Q Compact Teacher Desk, Chair

R Standing-Height Student Desk
S Fabric Privacy Booth
T Standing-Height Acrylic Screen
U Three-Sided Acrylic Divider
V Hand Sanitizer Station
W Cleaning Caddy
X Mobile Power Tower
Y Health and Safety Posters


Current Layout

  • Fun, funky classrooms that use flexible seating practices in everyday lessons
  • Offers a variety of furniture and seating types, many of which are teacher-supplied
  • Highly non-traditional yet features a few practical desk/table and chair configurations; very little consistancy
  • Collaborative environments with some sort of central rug or gathering area
  • Ample storage for shared supplies, some traditional personal cubbies or storage
  • Often has both a teacher's desk as well as room for a teaching assistant
  • Technology ready, possibly features laptop/tablet carts or smartboards and other media
  • Capacity ranges from 10 to 20 students, depending on the school

Reimagined Layout



  • Adopt a configuration that has all students facing the same direction
  • Add several traditional student desks, ideally with storage; supplement these desks with alternative seating, such as yoga balls or active seating chairs or stools
  • Repurpose existing collaborative tables as single-student workstations
  • Mix standard-height, standing-height, and adjustable-height desks and tables to add variety
  • Utelize three-sided privacy booths as an alternative for students who dislike desks 
  • Remove any collaborative areas, such as gathering rugs, to increase classroom area for well-distanced desks
  • Decrease the size of teacher and assistant desks to increase floor space; add acrylic dividers 
  • Add a standing-height acrylic divider to the front of the class in front of the whiteboard or smartboard
  • Remove all comingled supplies and reuse storage space for individual cubbies to house students' personal supplies; include disinfecting wipes in personal cubbies
  • Add a hand sanitizer station at the doorway and place several cleaning caddies throughout the classroom; ensure that disinfectants near the laptop cart are technology safe
  • Install cleanliness and safety posters throughout the room to clearly communicate expectations




Clean Classroom Must-Haves