Stability balls bring a refreshing change to the classroom

Most students walk into a generic classroom filled with desks and chairs still trying to wake up every morning. Yet students of Peggy Walker and Jennifer Halpert walk into a room filled with colorful yoga balls to start their day.

Walker, Psychology teacher, and Halpert, Associated Student Government (ASG) adviser and English teacher, obtained the balls from a random selection among several teachers trying to get the balls for their classrooms.

“The admin emailed the staff offering this opportunity and I thought ‘what the heck,’ throw my hat in the ring. If we were interested, they asked us how we would utilize the desks and balls. I just wrote a little snippet and I got it,” Halpert said.

Both Walker and Halpert were given 20 “stability balls” to use in their classrooms along with normal chairs and desks.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to mix things up a little bit and give people a different environment than what they’re used to and give them a break from their normal day,” Walker said. Walker has always looked for a way to make her classroom different and she found a way to do so with stability balls.

Nicole Katz, senior and member of ASG, was one of the first to get the stability balls in her class with Halpert.

“I think most people like them. Personally I am not a big fan of yoga balls. I get there (at) seven in the morning I don’t have the agility and patience to seat myself on the yoga ball,” Katz said. “Personally when I look around in the classroom in the morning, I notice people are a little bit more awake and alert because they are more on their toes since they may roll over if they don’t sit right. You really need to balance yourself on it.”

Although Katz was one of the select few that preferred normal desks and chairs, the majority of students prefer the stability balls and love to have them in their classroom.

According to Walker, she has 39 desks in her classroom, with 20 being stability balls. In some of her classes everybody gravitates towards the balls but she does have several students who prefer to stick with the normal desks and chairs.

Walker and Halpert opted for the stability balls for very different reasons. While Walker was looking for a more colorful arrangement in her classroom, Halpert had very different ideas.

“I actually wanted the desks that came with the balls. I liked that they were not favoring to a righty or a lefty, they were ambidextrous. I wanted the desks and the balls were just a bonus,” Halpert said. Most desks extend further on the right side to accommodate a right-handed student.

“Overall It has been a really positive experience, it’s been really fun,” Walker said. “There’s been a lot of bouncing going around, even just little bouncing and I like that.”

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