As the coronavirus pandemic ravages its way through 2020, schools across America are gearing up to return to in-person learning this month. But with strict social distancing protocols, and an invisible enemy still at large, returning to the classroom looks dramatically different than ever before.
Earlier this year, For Every Mom shared photos from around the world after students returned to school amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now teachers in the U.S. are taking to social media with a grim look inside the walls of a school in 2020.
In accordance with guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, students and staff are to remain 6 feet apart, wash hands frequently, and wear masks throughout the school day, and teachers are responsible for following strict sanitizing procedures.
Here are 22 photos of what in-person schooling looks like around the United States right now.
1. Desks that feel more like “time out” than an inviting learning environment.
Quite possibly the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my classroom. This is not how I teach. This is not a room that says “welcome, let’s have fun learning!” This is not going be easy. pic.twitter.com/EHvxP6mZtx
— Carolyn Wagner, MJE (@LZwags) August 10, 2020
2. Plexiglass barriers for further isolation.
First look at my classroom since March 6, 2020. It’s like it was frozen in time. Now there are these obtrusive black barriers on some of the desks and that is the only change I see with the exception of the water fountain covered up with a black garbage bag. #livesoverlessons pic.twitter.com/qQAiyqgDSh
— Florida gal (@kelkenney0427) August 12, 2020
3. And teachers thought it was difficult to get enough supplies before…
The PPE my school district so generously supplied me for the entire school year. 1 homemade face shield, a leaking bottle of hand sanatizer, 1 pair of gloves, and a saturated 1 layer mask. Kids were back to school today pic.twitter.com/MSBiNj22FN
— Hipster Hot Mess (@anna_doak) August 6, 2020
4. Shower curtains covering books.
Never did I ever think I’d be covering my classroom library with a shower curtain 😅 pic.twitter.com/SRFfdsv0SA
— Lesley Snyder (@lesleymsnyder) August 11, 2020
5. Anxiously awaiting distance policing.
Today I helped set up my mom’s first grade classroom. The CDC recommends that desks be 6 feet apart and we can barely get them 3 feet apart. Not to mention kids not staying in their seats, taking off their masks, and getting in each other’s faces. School starts in three weeks. pic.twitter.com/9tq9l7xnZh
— Mel Diamond (@mel__aroni) August 6, 2020
6. Teachers are preparing for worst-case scenario.
Added to the list of surreal 2020 events: Teachers lined up to prepare living wills before going back to school. A 25-year-old told me this is never how she would’ve pictured getting ready for her 2nd year teaching. Another said it’d be a fitting subject for a Dalí painting. pic.twitter.com/7ZAExMMQtf
— Mary Green (@MaryGreenNews) August 9, 2020
7. Teachers getting creative with sneeze guards.
Making the most of social distancing in your classroom. pic.twitter.com/HLfh2Zsl0i
— Jason Elsom (@JasonElsom) August 16, 2020
8. A new normal for gym class.
Creating an outdoor PE classroom with 2m physical distancing between individual student stations pic.twitter.com/0l3RFCOd5J
— Sonia Sheehan (@sonia_sheehan) August 15, 2020
9. College classes are a nightmare.
Teaching 75 minutes with a mask on, behind a glass, in person for 70 students, and 150 other ones live connected via Zoom, asking questions with the chat, with dual Zoom/Mediasite recording, multiple files/slide sharing, is a nightmare. It’s not fun for the students either… pic.twitter.com/bh3px3R5Vg
— Denis Fourches (@DFourches) August 11, 2020
10. School supplies look vastly different.
As president of a school board in Orange County, CA, I bought $85,000 worth of plexiglass for our 9,000 students to sit behind, and masks for all. That’s if we can get off the watch list of Governor @GavinNewsom . It’s tough out here in OC! Here’s a classroom set up. You like ? pic.twitter.com/QEHpZtmzlm
— Gina Clayton-Tarvin (@gclaytontarvin) August 10, 2020
11. Alternating in-person learning days.
Today we welcomed the “Red Group” (approx. half the student body) back to campus for the first day of school! Tomorrow the “Blue Group” will attend their first day of in-person classes before transitioning to a hybrid learning model. We missed you, Ritamen!! pic.twitter.com/JbJg4dgEBl
— St. Rita Chicago (@StRitaHS) August 17, 2020
12. Teachers confined to desk area.
My friend’s classroom in a neighboring county returning face to face:
28 desks. 2.5- 3ft spacing. Blue zone for the teacher only. Masks optional. pic.twitter.com/rpSUbrnJFS
— Aaron Avera (@AaronAvera) August 3, 2020
13. Social distancing in the hallways.
We are two days from schools resuming in person instruction in WCSD. Here is where some of the 460k the district spent on PPE went: paper towels, hand sanitizer, and what smells like a damn Dawn dish soap water solution. This is what our hallways will look like. This is unreal. pic.twitter.com/FzNm09KsuH
— stay home, defund the police (@jcdrom) August 15, 2020
14. LOTS of Tape.
Since it’s @npspanthers first day of school, here’s some photos of what high school students will see today. LOTS of tape.
Students coming early sit & wait at the tables to social distance. Hallways are marked to limit crowds. Even some roundabouts were put in congested areas. pic.twitter.com/vEpor2ddfK
— Lauren Wagner (@LaurenWReports) August 13, 2020
15. Even entering the building looks different this year.
Practicing how to enter the building. Really want to avoid crowded hallways. Glad we got to see how it would work out with social distancing. School TEAMS really have to be conscious of ever little detail. pic.twitter.com/RL6n4V7Svn
— John Hamilton (@JHamiltonEDU) August 13, 2020
16. Classrooms with just 6 desks.
One of my classrooms can only hold 6 desks while social distancing.
How in the world can parents willingly with full conscience and “of sound mind” think this is safe for your children.
This classroom typically has 20-25 students in it.
My daughter will be 💯 distance learnin pic.twitter.com/GkkUMBHnHE
— Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! (@kniggej) August 4, 2020
17. Expectation vs. reality.
Today, I helped my wife hang some stuff in her classroom. Her school is opening on 8/17. I put the yard stick (it’s actually a “meter stick”) on the desks to show how far apart they are. Spoiler alert: that’s not six feet. pic.twitter.com/bsJx1b3JrV
— Spurgeon Hendrick (@OTD_Colonel) August 4, 2020
18. Navigating the impossible: 6 feet apart.
Spent 2 hours in my classroom today trying to figure out how to configure my desks. I landed on 2 feet. 2 FEET.
— Alexandra Dennis (@mrsadennis) August 4, 2020
19. Eating lunch in isolation.
Whether they ate in their classroom or the cafeteria, our youngest Wolves acclimated to the new meal protocols quickly! pic.twitter.com/7pYf0os0Zm
— Buford City Schools (@BufordSchoolsGA) August 14, 2020
20. Cardboard high-fives.
I taught face to face summer school. We stayed connected emotionally through the use of #cardboardhighfives. This is safe way to build relationships with my students in a #socialdistancingclassroom. #ReopeningSchoolsSafely #teachertwitter #edutwitter #backtoschoolsafely pic.twitter.com/eOc0pljf4r
— Cardboard High-Five Teacher (@M_P_Clark11) August 17, 2020
21. All the masks.
I ❤️ this mask! A mask like this allows me to show expression & smile when working with my students! So happy to be back in the classroom practicing safe social distancing! #basdproud @BethlehemAreaSD @WilliamPennES pic.twitter.com/nOBbHQOPE3
— Lindsey Joseph (@missjosephwpe) August 13, 2020
22. Make-shift classrooms + personal floor space.
— OverallCreek.STEAM (@OverallCreek) August 13, 2020