Location, Location, Location

Changing my desk in the teacher’s room has changed my life at work. And if you’re having trouble at work for whatever reason, you might consider requesting a seat change yourself. Location matters and change is good.

I now sit at the center of the action in the teacher’s room. What are the perks, you ask?

Well, first, there is a steady steam of students that walk past my desk daily. I chat with them here and they revel at all the strange things on my desk — like my modified Rubik’s Cube and statue of a crazy dinosaur. Next, I sit next to a close friend and can enjoy talking while grading papers or studying Japanese. Third, there are two English teachers close at hand, and the move has made lesson planning and preparation a breeze. They are right there to talk with anytime. To top it off, I’m sitting close to a heater and the kitchenette to refill my coffee with ease.

I feel like I found the Strait of Gibraltar in the teacher’s room and I have a stake in all the action now. It is totally different. I feel like a part of the school and my work situation is totally engaging and new.

Before, my seat decidedly did not rock. I was sitting with a group of staff that rarely used their desks and I felt isolated from almost everyone. I think it affected my mood and my work performance.

So I requested a change. And it’s been nothing but good.

The thing is, location matters. And you have power to change your situation. All it takes is figuring out where you want to sit and putting in a request with the right people.  Like so many things, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

How is your desk situation at work? Does it rock or not? If so why? I have a hunch location is key to a healthy workplace, and that ALTs can improve their situation by finding a good location. I’m gonna write a follow up post and try to give some advice about what I think an ideal location might look like. Please write about your experience(s) and I’ll include them in my next post on this topic.


  1. What a great story! I think that not only desk location, but many issues that ALTs find themselves unhappy with in their work situations can be solved with a little proactive behavior. If you have spent a minimum amount of time cultivating relationships with the right people (like you mentioned), you may suddenly find yourself with a lot of leverage in your own situation!

    Your best point – it never hurts to ask! Love it!

    • Yeah, I almost regret not asking sooner. Though, on the other hand, I do believe the time I spent sitting at the other desk was a valuable time of introspection for me as a teacher. It forced me to think about everything from lesson planning to teaching approaches to how I interacted with other teachers. I wracked my brain thinking, “What went wrong?! What did I do?!!” I think it helped me grow as a teacher and a person. Still, now that I know how good it could be, I can’t help but wish it had requested my seating change sooner.

      Cultivating relationships was key in this process. You made a great point. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments.

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