Closer to Normal

Foran Teachers Return to Original Classrooms


Rumeysa Bayram

Learning and Relaxing: Ms. Green’s carefully decorated classroom.

Maria Garbin, Content Editor

     The last school year was challenging for teachers and students. With people in masks, distanced desks, and changes left and right, it was hard for many to see things going back to normal. However, Foran teachers getting back to their original classrooms sparks some hope.

     When students were allowed to study in person last year, many safety measures were established to ensure safety. Because students had to maintain six feet distance, a change to classroom arrangements was necessary.

     “It was a very difficult year for everybody and we definitely knew that everyone wanted to be in their own classroom,” says Principal Mr. Max Berkowitz, “but because of Covid, the restrictions we had in place, and the distancing for students, there were limited areas [which] forced [teachers] out of their classrooms.”

     Change after change, teachers always had another challenge on the way. In temporary rooms, many reported that normal tasks, like keeping things organized, were more difficult.

     “It was challenging to change rooms. It was difficult to find everything I needed and I never felt fully organized,” says math teacher Mrs. Jamie Courbron. “[It] made me less productive and more stressed out.”

     Coming from Harborside, English teacher Ms. Chelsea Green says that when safety measures affected the arrangement of rooms, she didn’t have a room at all.

      Green explains, “It felt like I didn’t have a true space I could go to. No one really had.”

     With Covid-19 restrictions being eased and students being able to now stay three feet apart, teachers could finally return to their original classes. The news seemed to have a positive impact on all teachers.  

     “I am so glad to be back in my regular room. [Now] I know where my supplies and science toys are,” says science teacher Mr. John Connors. 

     Connors explains that he no longer has to be self-conscious of messing up a shared space and adds, “I did miss my windows with the college stickers from students who have asked me for college recommendations.”

     Every teacher had something special that they missed, whether that be the feeling of home or their own characteristic decoration. Many put a lot of effort into personalizing and organizing their rooms for the new school year.

     Courbron, who won a staff-decided contest for the most organized space, says it took her four full days to put her room together.

     She explains, “I actually drew out a sketch before coming into the building to plan where I wanted to put everything.” She made sure to have everything as organized as possible for her students and herself. 

     Aside from keeping all the calendars up to date, Courbron assigns a color for every period and then uses labeled bins for students to turn in their work. To track what she has to do, Courbron has file folders labeled “Copy”, “Grade” and “Make Answer Keys.”

     After finally getting her own room, Green describes the transition as freeing, saying, “It was really nice to be able to have somewhere that I could call home, and I made it into a home.” 

     Green gave her room personality by filling it with different, low lighting and TikTok-inspired decorations to make it cozier and inviting. She likes to feel comfortable in her classroom since she spends a lot of time there and wants her students to feel the same way.

     “Personally, when I went to school, I always felt a lot more comfortable and willing to do work in a classroom that was inviting versus one that was just bare and empty,” says Green.

     With a new school year starting, teachers can finally settle in and make their rooms unique again. Even if it’s just a place to call their own, a good change finally came along, one that brings everyone’s lives closer to normal.

     “[We are] much closer to normal,” says Berkowitz. “Hopefully in a not too distant future we will be back to the way everything was.”