The Third Teacher

Learning Space Design for Modern Teaching and Learning

Traditional classrooms are seemingly designed to serve the teacher, with classroom management as a priority. Rigid rows of desks encouraged rote memorization, conformity, and going with the flow. However, the new pedagogy calls for more student-directed outcomes, with the teacher in the room acting as a facilitator. Along with said teacher and the students’ parents, STS EDUCATION believes that the space the students physically learn in acts as a third teacher. This space must be integrated with technology and aligned to pedagogy that increases student outcomes in keeping with this new learning style. In this way, a truly integrated learning space collaborates with parents and teachers to become the students’ third teacher.

Education is changing rapidly, with more focus than ever on student-directed outcomes. Every student learns differently and therefore reacts differently to their environment. It’s imperative to accommodate and plan for Social Emotional Learning using both furniture and design.

Welcome the Third Teacher with Integrated Learning Spaces

An integrated learning space from STS EDUCATION considers all aspects of student interaction and wellbeing. It includes furniture that allows children to choose what position and height they sit at. This furniture is also modular and portable to be quickly reconfigured from individual to group to presentation-style learning. An integrated learning space is also technology-forward, featuring modern digital infrastructure, devices, and classroom management tools. These spaces also consider tactile, lighting, and sound considerations for both traditional and atypical learners. Additional considerations include co-teaching to both locally present and virtual students and the inclusion of spaces/accommodations for neurotypically diverse learners.

Wellness Rooms

A wellness room is a purposefully designed space within the school where students- and potentially teachers and staff- can relax and take a mental timeout from the constant stimulation, traditional rigidity, and ever-changing learning conditions at school. It consists of making a room over with soft sided furniture, interior surfaces and partitioned designed to muffle noise, attention to natural elements like plants, sunlight, and windows, and most of all be a quiet, restful place where overstimulated or anxious learners can go to take a break.


An Esports lab is a purposefully designed space within the school where students can train, compete and broadcast Esports team activities. It consists of purposely chosen furniture, ergonomic seating, best-in-class gaming PCs with all the accessories and a solution for Coaching such as a large interactive flat panel or two-sided workstation. It also contains space for broadcasting/podcasting events and sometimes will have accommodations for spectators.


A Media Center is a comfortable,  open space where students can consume printed or electronic media and discuss it with instructors. Such a space will usually include bright lighting, open sightlines and a comfortable environment that allows the student to choose how they consume the information, leading to better SEL adaptation and learning outcomes.

Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture is purpose-built to be used outside in the spring and summer in colder states and year-round in warmer climates like California. It’s not just stackable chairs to sit on- portable power supplies, charging carts, laptops and Chromebooks can all be combined to truly make an ‘ad-hoc’- or planned- outdoor learning experience. Outdoor furniture can also provide a solution for social distancing in schools in warmer climates.

Classroom Modernization

Classroom modernization is the process of creating an Integrated Learning Environment that goes beyond the typical rows of desks facing a blackboard. Classroom modernization means modular furniture that allows learners to choose what works for them, presentation aids to ensure that all learners have access to the same quality of teaching experience, network hardware and presentation hardware that’s up to modern, connected standards of pedagogy- and Professional Development from World Class educators to tie it all together.

It’s Not Just Desks and Chairs

A learning space is so much more than just the furniture in it. STS EDUCATION can help plan a learning space such as a Media Center, a CTE-focused space, a wellness room or an Esports lab, or outdoor classroom, as well as a more “traditional” classroom. Working together, we’ll update your space to modern teaching standards and provide professional development to show educators how to make the best use of the space. We have award-winning educators on staff that will work with you from the beginning to design a fully integrated, considered space that will make students want to get back to the classroom.



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