Steele Elementary School Teacher Interviewed by Parents Magazine
"Teachers Reveal the Big Ways Their Classrooms Have Changed This Fall for the Pandemic"
Second Grade Teacher, Ms. Nancy Aquino, Talks Back-to-School Preparations
Teachers are heroes—there's no doubt about it. Between picking up the pieces to salvage a school year forced completely online last spring to risking their health (not to mention juggling families and crazy schedules on top of that) as some schools around the country begin to reopen for hybrid or fully in-person education, teachers have adjusted to the new reality of life amid a pandemic.
Now, as many kids are heading back to school in person for the first time since March, teachers have been busy prepping their classrooms to meet strict safety protocols. We've heard that things will look very different this year, but classrooms have seriously been stripped and rearranged, devoid of much of the warmth and personality of years past. Here are just some of the ways teachers have reconfigured their classrooms over the past few weeks and educators are getting ready for the new school year—and a taste of what your kids might expect in their schools.
1. Bare classrooms "My classroom is very different from last year. My old classroom was set up with flexible seating. I had a couch, rug, lap desks, fancy chairs, stools, student tables, guided reading table, teacher station, snack bins, lunch bins, and access to the closet. This year, my classroom consists of 13 desks and dividers that are 6 feet apart with minimal furniture. Students will be required to wear masks and will be given a mask lanyard to minimize the risk of losing their face covering. I purchased bins so that each child has a designated safe area to put their belongings that they take to and from home. My classroom has a sanitizer station and each child has his/her own sanitizer. Most importantly, I will be establishing healthy behaviors and rules."—Nancy Aquino, second grade teacher in Baldwin, New York