Every teacher is different. There's nothing wrong with assigning them seats -- whether you do it randomly? Alphabetically? However. There's no right or wrong answer. It's your classroom and those are your kids. It depends on the grade you teach and the kids in your classroom. I taught third grade so they needed to be more directed than maybe the MS/HS kids do. But even with my kids, I could have let some of them pick their own seats and they would have been fine. They knew when it was time to talk and when it wasn't. And I had some talkers. Oh boy! Maybe you try it YOUR way and offer it as a reward to allow them to choose their own seats if/when they earn it? There's a lot more to worry about than just seating. Mine never even stayed consistent all year anyway. I was constantly moving the seats -- in terms of how the desks were arranged and the students' assignments. By the end I ended up with the horse-shoe and instructed them from the carpet anyway so if I needed to, I'd send the talkers back to sit by themselves. And then we'd move on with the lesson. I will say that I probably will assign spots on the carpet in the future because THAT was a problem.