Remember your first time going into the teachers lounge as a teacher?
Neither do I.
The secret about teachers lounges is that most of them aren’t very special. In the lounge at my school, the decor has been hanging since 1979. The Correll ware is in mint condition. The Mr. Coffee Maker has seen better days.
The lounges in many schools seems to be an afterthought. It’s not where the money goes, and listen, we get that. We want the money to go toward the kids.
But wouldn’t it be fun to dream about the ultimate teachers lounge? About a place that teachers could go when they need a minute to catch their breath? About a place where teachers could gather to plan where they feel cozy, happy, and valued?
Enter @thezenexperience_id, an interior designer and mom who loves her some teachers. (We love you too!)
In fact she loves teachers so much, she wanted to do something about it. Something extraordinary!
From drab to “Yaaaass!”
Grab yourself some tissues, because this is about to get real.
@thezenexperience_id got permission from the school principal to transform a run-of-the-mill lounge with all its stray copies and crusty furniture into a Zen retreat—made especially for teachers with love.
How did she do it?
First, she got rid of everything. Well, almost everything.
No window, no problem
There wasn’t a window in the lounge, but she wanted the teachers to feel connected to the outdoors, so she put up a greenery wall.
And she brought in some plants. (Suddenly this story feels like a really sweet parent-teacher version of The Giving Tree.) She knew that being close to the outdoors would help teachers feel relaxed.
Then she used her fairy wand to add some glitz and glam. I mean, a brass sink in the teachers lounge? Can you even imagine? These teachers must feel so fancy it hurts.
Take a seat
One of the most thoughtful parts of this new space is the seating. There are multiple clusters of sitting areas, so everyone isn’t awkwardly eating their lunches and grading at one big table.
If Mr. Smith brings his smelly tuna sandwich and has a really hard time keeping his mouth closed while he chews, you don’t have to sit next to him. Even if you love him. You can smile, wave, and hit up the corner table.
Besides thinking about the space, check out the seats themselves. There are cafe stools for a quick lunch with your teacher bestie. There are cozy, velvet chairs for when you need to breathe. Like on the day before winter break.
There is a super cozy-looking sofa where you can snuggle up to your teamies with a cup of coffee to plan the ultimate unit on American history.
There are even adorable leopard-print stools with fringe for when you’re feeling extra.
She gets it!
We love this designer’s thoughtful intentions that went into her creation: “I don’t feel like teachers are appreciated enough. As a mother of two toddlers, I can see how much it takes to pour into a child. By creating these spaces, this is my way to give teachers their flowers.”
Thank you, @thezenexperience_id! We feel so seen.
Check out the video here: