Teacher uses Star Grant money to improve seating in her classroom


Loud, chaotic hallways, filled with over 1,000 people each passing period, crowded and unpredictable. This can be a nightmare for many people. In upper D, there is an escape from this nightmare. This escape is the classroom of freshman English teacher, Caitlyn Dimos.

After applying for and receiving a grant over the summer, Dimos has implemented flexible seating in her classroom in order to make students feel comfortable and perform better in her class. It all started when Dimos received an email about the Star Grant.

“The Grant Foundation gathers money and then you just apply for it with an itemized list of what you would buy,” Dimos said. 

Even before applying for the Star Grant, Dimos had planned to implement adaptable seating in her room. 

“My goal in having the flexible seating is because a lot of the students that I see have learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, and just struggle to pay attention, which I think is probably true for most people in life,” Dimos said. 

Most people are not comfortable sitting in the same seat all day, and being given the option of flexible seating has been seen to improve performance in class. This is done through encouraging movement, which reduces brain inactivity in the process. 

Not only does flexible seating help to increase success in class, but also makes the classroom feel like a safer, more comfortable environment. 

“I wanted to have different seating that really made this classroom feel more comfortable and more homey and make it a place where kids can relax. Maybe like a little bit of a getaway from their regular classrooms,” Dimos said. 

Dimos has seen a significant positive change in her classroom since utilizing adaptable seating. 

“It gives people ownership over their own learning, and makes them feel a little bit more excited about being here, which I think helps with their focus and productivity,” Dimos said. 

Despite this, the seating that is currently in her room does have its downsides. 

“My original plan was to find things second hand from garage sales and things, but there is no way to get an itemized receipt for those,” Dimos said. 

The grant requires you to prove that you bought exactly what you said you would with the money, so nothing can be bought without an itemized receipt. Because of this, Dimos had to buy things new which led them to be much more expensive. 

In efforts to keep costs low, she was often forced to buy lower quality products than she would have preferred and many of them have broken over the course of the year. 

“I am going to apply again in hope to recoup some of the things that didn’t quite make it,” Dimos said. 

Through seemingly small, and unconventional methods, Dimos has created a safe space for the students of GlenOak High School where they can learn and grow comfortably.