California Educator

May / June 2017

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Page 47 of 59

W hen students at Vallecito Elementar y School in San Rafael began using standing desks two years ago, fifth-grade teacher Hasia Babicz didn't take the news sitting down. She acquired one herself. "I told my students, 'If you're standing, I'm standing,' " says the Dixie Teachers Association member. "I never liked sitting desks anyway. You're up and down, up and down. is is not a profession where you sit." Vallecito first piloted standing desks in one class to rave reviews, and has since become an all-standing school for students. Still, Babicz is the only teacher to "take a stand." She obtained permission from her principal — who also has a standing desk — to use some of her classroom funds to offset the cost of the desk. "I'm an active person, and this accommodates my per- sonality," she says. "Now, I have furniture that works with me, instead of the other way around. I almost can't remem- ber not having a standing desk." In truth, Babicz still has a teacher desk in her classroom, but it has become secondary to the standing desk, whose 5-foot tabletop is able to fit her laptop, grading book and students' papers. e desk moves easily on its wheels and weighs almost nothing. Babicz and her students can zip around her small classroom, forming horseshoes, circles and other groupings when she calls out, "Brakes up." Of course, Babicz has had to change her work style, find- ing alternative storage for folders and other items, but that is all but forgotten now. "Now that I have my standing desk, I won't go back," she says. Take a Stand Educators find mobility, flexibility with standing desks By Dina Martin Photo by Scott Buschman Both Hasia Babicz, right, and her students have standing desks with wheels, which makes it easy for them to move around and form horseshoes, circles and other groupings. 46 teaching & learning

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