A new school year means that there will be a new classroom seating chart template for the class. New students might also join the class so teachers would have to assign new seating arrangements. As a teacher, you should know that seating arrangements are critical in terms of how students will engage with each other and with you. You need a seating chart to place your students in designated groups to create the best learning environment. While some teachers allow flexible seating in their classrooms, having a chart makes this more organized.

Classroom Seating Charts

What is a classroom seating chart?

One of the best preventative measures you can use in your classroom is the use of a student seating chart. Organize your students in the classroom in a way you see fit. Here are some points you should know about seating arrangements in classrooms:

  • While some teachers don’t believe in using seating charts, the biggest downside to this is when friends sit next to one another. This will most likely cause disruptions during your class.
  • Having a seating chart will help substitute teachers know the names of the students.
  • Some teachers assign seating arrangements alphabetically. In such a case, there are chances where friends would end up sitting next to each other or students would sit with the same classmates since they were in the earlier levels. You should deal with such cases accordingly.
  • Placing a very talkative student beside a very shy student may reduce disruptions in your class. Of course, silence should not be your main goal in classroom management. Instead, you should have your students feel engaged in your lessons and curriculum.

Classroom Seating Chart Templates

Why do you need this chart?

When is the best time for you to plan your classroom map template? The best time varies. It can be from the moment you receive your student list to the first day of class after meeting your students. There are some teachers who wait until they know their students better before assigning the permanent seating arrangement. In the meantime, they allow open seating before creating a chart. This is a reactive approach that works best if you prefer adaptability and flexibility.

There are also teachers who take a more proactive approach where they ask the previous teachers for feedback about the students. Doing this requires extra effort but asking co-teachers about the students can help you identify the most beneficial seating arrangements with regard to how your students engage in class.

A fixed seating chart will make it easier for you to remember the names of your student. But some teachers decide to revise the seating arrangements regularly to give a more variable learning experience. Some even do this every day while others choose to change the arrangements every 1 or 2 months. Changing your seating arrangements isn’t a requirement as long as your curriculum functions harmoniously. In such a case, you don’t have to change your fixed seating chart throughout the school year. If you notice the arrangement doesn’t work, you can just keep making adjustments.

A seating chart is more than just a document where you assign the seats of your students as you have to consider several factors while creating it. These include learning disabilities, vision problems, academic performance, and so on. By basing your decisions on these factors, you can assign your students accordingly to ensure that everyone receives better learning through higher engagement.

More factors to consider are partner compatibility and social considerations. These are important since some students perform better when working with others, even if their socialization might cause some distraction. It’s common for friends to request that they sit together and it’s common for most teachers to separate friends so they don’t over-socialize. But there are times when friends challenge and complement one another in positive ways. If you can demonstrate flexibility and openness in such cases, you could potentially create opportunities for your students to learn collaboratively from each other.

According to studies, clustering students into groups can potentially result in learning environments that will foster collaboration among students. The study showed positive outcomes from collaborative learning in the form of better learning, more enjoyment, and higher feelings of success. So it’s important for you to find arrangements that will suit your instruction style and your student’s preferences in ways that will make them more effective and engaging. It’s also important to foster a learning environment where your students can support one another.

There are also benefits when you group high-level learners with low-level ones as this can facilitate peer coaching since heterogeneous groups can support each other while learning. But the seating chart is an overlooked and underrated tool even though it can help convert a good learning experience into a better one. There is really no single standard model for where to position your students. But if you can do this correctly, a well-made seating chart will foster a more effective environment that will allow your students to maximize their learning potential.

Classroom Map Templates

Common seating arrangements to choose from

A seating arrangement involves the creation of an arrangement pattern in such a way that it will fulfill the learning demands and the environment. Here are some of the most common ways to organize your classroom to optimize learning while reducing the amount of time you need to spend on classroom management:


This is one of the most common classroom seating arrangements across all levels of education, even in post-secondary education. This arrangement follows the traditional classroom setup where you have rows of seats that all face the front of the classroom.


  • The primary focus is the front of your classroom, which will naturally direct the attention of your students in one direction – toward you.
  • Creates space for you to walk between the columns and rows with fluid and easy access to all of your students
  • Makes it difficult for students to cheat since there are distances between the students across your classroom


  • Student collaboration becomes more difficult because of the back-to-front arrangement and because you will spread the desks evenly apart

Stadium Seating

This seating arrangement in the classroom has the tables or desks placed in angled rows with the desks touching. The objective is to focus the attention of your students to one point in front of the classroom too.


  • It allows you to see what each student does since the rows are cleverly angled against a fixed point.
  • All of your students can see you clearly.
  • It requires less space as you will condense the amount of space required between each desk.
  • It allows your students to work cooperatively with the students next to them and the ones in their immediate rows.


  • Some students might feel like they’re too far from the front of the classroom although this depends on how many rows you have or the width of each row.
  • It’s more challenging to implement classroom management beyond the first few rows.
  • It’s not as ideal for classrooms that require stations for group working. This is because of the unique shape of the rows and the condensed seating

Semicircle or Horseshoe

The arrangement involves placing the desks in a semi-circle. The desks all face the front of the classroom to focus the attention of your students to the center of the classroom. This is commonly used in classrooms where there are lots of group discussions or demonstrations.


  • Ideal for discussions since students can easily see each other and engage with one other.
  • Students will focus on a central point where they can see everyone else and it places all of the students equidistant from the point of focus.
  • It allows you to see all of your students easily.


  • Requires more space compared to other arrangements.
  • May limit small-group discussions since students may need the whole scope of the classroom to communicate with each other.
  • Makes it easier for students to cheat since they have a better visible range and different angles to see the answers of their classmates.


Also called the pod arrangement, you would place the desks in groups. With this arrangement, students can work together while receiving both large-and small-group group instructions from you. This arrangement is ideal for regular session plans, workstations, and sometimes even classrooms.


  • Allows for better collaboration among your students.
  • Allows you to interact with your students on small-group and individual levels.
  • It’s easy to set up and rearrange for various situations as needed.


  • Requires more space than other arrangements.
  • Requires a well-adjusted classroom community so your students will all pay attention to the lessons and their tasks.
  • It’s not ideal if you have plenty of students who find it difficult to listen or focus on their tasks.
  • Makes it easier for students to cheat because of their close proximity to each other.


In this type of classroom arrangement, you can use the best aspects of 2 or more classroom arrangements. The best part of this arrangement is that you can change it regularly or set it as permanent. You can use this arrangement during an activity or lab work that involves rotating stations. Classrooms with various desks sizes may have this arrangement.


  • The flexible design of this arrangement will facilitate better collaboration, especially when your students need to move from one part of the classroom to another.
  • You can use all of the desks available in your class as the arrangement doesn’t require specific dimensions or sizes to create a functional design.


  • Doesn’t allow for uniformity in the classroom.
  • Doesn’t offer all of the students the same view of you and it doesn’t offer the same shape or size of the workspace.

Factors to consider when choosing classroom seating

A classroom seating arrangement is the physical setup of tables and chairs and the presentation in a classroom that influences learning. Here are the factors to consider when choosing classroom seating arrangements:

Size of your classroom

You can only apply the seating arrangement you have in mind if you have the appropriate classroom size and furniture.


Make sure that the arrangement of your classroom seating arrangement will keep your students from getting distracted.

The age group of your students

Teaching adults isn’t the same as teaching children or teenagers. Many young students tend to have disruptive behavior patterns. The seating arrangement should depend on the age group of the students you have in the class.

Size of your class

If you handle large classes, you should practice creativity in terms of finding ways to arrange your classroom.

Your objectives and teaching style

If you have to handle a class where you will require your students to have some sort of interaction, don’t expect to maximize these interactions by separating your students from each other. Think of an arrangement that will support your objectives and teaching style.

Classroom Map Templates

How do you create a classroom seating chart?

Creating a school seating chart is important because its purpose is to help prevent problem behaviors that could reduce instructional time and student attention. Assigning seats for students in your classroom will benefit you when you take attendance and try to learn the names of your students. Here are some pointers for creating this document:

  • Write legibly

Your seating chart should be very clear and easy to read.

  • Keep it organized and simple

Create the chart in an organized and simple way so you can easily locate the names of your students and their assigned seats. This will also benefit your students when they need to check where they should sit.

  • Think of the arrangement carefully

Place the names of your students in some kind of order. You can group the students alphabetically by name or by the numbers of their tables. It’s best to also organize your seating chart in a similar way.

  • Make sure all your students feel comfortable

Aside from making sure that everyone has a seat, you should also make sure that all of your students feel comfortable with enough room to move around if needed.