A new school year is starting soon, and the coronavirus is forcing teachers to get extra creative with their classroom setups.
Though the United States is still navigating a deadly pandemic, many children are heading back to the classroom this fall. Depending on state and district decisions, lots of schools are reopening and holding in-person classes.
Extra safety measures like social distancing, wearing masks, and using hand sanitizer will be enforced. However, the intimate classroom environment still poses many challenges that educators are contending with. As teachers prepare their classrooms for this unique and scary school year, they’re sharing their new social distance-friendly desk setups on social media — and boy do they look bleak.
Many 2020 classroom photos show desks that are significantly separated or fitted with cold-looking plastic dividers. But some educators — like @NanLafferty‘s co-worker, who teaches first grade — have gone the extra mile to make their students as comfortable as possible in this extremely uncomfortable situation.
On Monday, Lafferty tweeted a video of her co-worker’s first grade classroom, which shows the desks decorated to look like trucks. According to the tweet, Lafferty’s co-worker didn’t want the classroom “to look scary with all the dividers.”
There are only so many desk designs you can pull off with a transparent cubicle in the mix, which is why car desks have emerged as a popular classroom theme. Texas kindergarten teacher, Jennifer Birch Pierson, recently went viral for sharing a photo of her classroom’s Jeep desks, too.
And though school districts normally pay for and provide social distancing supplies like desk dividers, some teachers are considering dipping into their own personal funds to make their classrooms appear slightly less dystopian.
Not all socially distanced classroom setups have adorable desk vibes, but it’s clear that so many teachers are doing everything they can to adapt to the bizarre circumstances and ensure their students are as protected as they can be.
Nothing sadder to a teacher than an empty classroom but I’m determined to not be lonely this year! After virtually talking to some new students they picked their desk. One student said Daddy look I’m the sloth desk❤️. FES Falcons are ready to SOAR! pic.twitter.com/MTHE5RMNcj
— Smart Readers (@SmartReaders4) August 14, 2020
While no teacher, student, or faculty member should ever have to contend with schooling during a pandemic, it’s heartwarming to see teachers putting so much thought and care into making their students feel safe and happy.