With a few basic household items and modified mechanical devices, you’ll be fully prepared for a safe and effective re-entry into in-person classroom instruction. Just follow these simple steps for a worry-free teaching environment:
1. Dress in normal teacher clothes. Drive to school.
2. Once on school property, before leaving car, don two cloth masks.
3. In classroom, drape hazmat headwear with plastic shield over face.
4. Attach microphone to inside of plastic face-shield to reduce need to shout while instructing. (Since you’ll be talking all day, it might be helpful to install mini-windshield-wipers or a clip-on fan to inside of shield to deal with the fogging and condensation.)
5. In case of microphone malfunction that results in you having to shout for hours through two masks and a plastic shield, your throat may become hoarse and inflamed. To manage discomfort, stash one dozen unwrapped throat lozenges inside inner mask, near enough to mouth that they can be hooked and pulled in by tongue as needed.
6. Secure six concentric circles of pillows around your midsection. In the unlikely event that a child might experience distress during school day, child can lean against the outer pillow-circle and experience comfort in a way that simulates actual human contact.
7. If you still have time before the first bell rings, cut extra masks out of paper for the students who habitually forget everything. Use old yellowed cursive paper from back of closet; you don’t need that shit anymore. Fashion the ear-loops with hole punch and yarn.
8. Prop-up a Swiss alpenhorn near instruction table. Hold it to your ear every time a shy student answers your questions from 30 feet away, in a whisper, behind her mask.
9. Construct papier-mâché “racecourses” (resembling miniature luge tracks), one for each student. Attach one end of track to each student desk, feeding the other end out the classroom door and down the hallway, ending at student bathroom. This will conveniently and safely carry away vomit, blood, pee, and all other unexpected bodily fluids that may spring forth from any child throughout the day, depositing it all in a student restroom toilet while everyone maintains social distance.
Optional variation: The mini-luge tracks can be fashioned by the students themselves, for a fun, hands-on opening day activity.
10. Establish community partnerships between schools and carwashes. Borrow from carwash the spray-and-suds mechanism. Install on classroom ceiling. If a student sneezes near you — which likely won’t happen, since all parents will adhere to the mandate to keep kids home when symptomatic — simply stand under the sprinklers to be sprayed. After you’ve been doused and soaped, the drop-down sponge strips will scrub away all traces of virus.
11. Activate classroom drone to buzz overhead so that you can view students’ work without proximity or touch.
12. Procure an ejector seat and a parachute. Install at the front of room, near instruction table. In the event of emergency, if you need to reach the classroom door in a hurry without coming too close to students, you can launch yourself out of the ejector seat to fly safely overhead, floating gently to ground with the help of a colorful PE parachute.
13. Purchase a giant mechanical claw from a defunct arcade. Plug in at the start of each day. Once you’ve shattered the claw’s glass enclosure, use it to collect student work without having to touch what children have touched.
14. Load your classroom’s brand-new catapult (FREE if you write a grant request on Donors Choose!) so that it’s ready for launch. This provides an anxiety-free method of distributing to students materials such as crayons, glue, colored pencils, and scissors.
15. Switch on your industrial-strength vacuum, attaching a triple-length hose. This allows you to suck up used Kleenex scattered by students about every area of the classroom. For added benefit, drop the Kleenex blobs into your paper-shredder and pulverize the tissue into tiny bits. The bits can be sprinkled as compost in school garden, providing a real-life model of the circle of life.
And as quick as that, you’re ready for the new teaching year! No need to worry. You’ll be fine.