This is What it Looks Like to Teach From Home

It’s a whole new world for all of us.

Collage of teachers working from virtual classrooms

Suddenly, words like “distance learning” and “virtual classroom” are on everyone’s lips. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of teachers (and their students) are now doing their best to adapt to a brand new learning environment. Whether teaching a full day of classes on Zoom, pre-recording lessons for kids to watch later, or sending assignments home through virtual learning platforms or even the mail, teacher life is very different now.

We asked our Facebook followers to share what it looks like to teach from home and we got a lot of responses. Here are some of their photos and thoughts, along with others we found around the web. Want to share your own virtual classroom photos? Visit our Facebook page.

Let’s start with an important truth.

Sticker that says "Virtual Teaching Is Still Teaching" being held by a hand in front of a laptop screen

That goes for learning, too. There are plenty of bumps along the way, but every teacher (and student) deserves credit for everything they’re doing.

Source: @thatvirtualteacherlife

This used to be my craft room.

Apple computer on desk with computer chair and small child in background

Lynne T. sacrificed her craft room for a virtual classroom. (Her office staff looks adorable, though!)

Daily schedules are pretty different now.


Whiteboard on a wall with a schedule and to do list

It’s good to establish a routine if you can. Just expect it to look pretty different from your old one.

Source: @smithka164

Home whiteboards are better than gold.

Virtual classroom with whiteboard, desk, laptop and computer screen in living room

High school chemistry teacher Tim S. spends a full day teaching interactive classes on Zoom. “It will get interesting when I try to run chem labs from the office,” he notes. Let’s hope he brought home some protective gear along with that whiteboard.


Stop giving me those puppy-dog eyes.

Black and white dog sitting in chair in front of laptop on table

One positive of so many folks staying home all day is a lot of very happy dogs! Kim A.’s new puppy is loving it.

So many heart-warming messages …

Collage of school employees holding up signs of encouragement for students

Messages like these are everywhere right now. And they’ve never been more important.

Source: @tori_grasso

Just add students.

At home virtual classroom desk, laptop, and computer chair with lamp in corner

A lot of virtual classrooms feel a bit lonely. Sarah A. misses getting to be with her students in person, a feeling most teachers echo wholeheartedly.

Well, that’s one way to fill the virtual classroom.

Group of stuffed animals sitting in a front of a chalkboard as a welcome to students in a virtual classroom

Storytime with stuffies? That works in any kind of classroom!

Source: @kellykatsaros

Bring all the good stuff home.

Computer monitor and laptop on kitchen table for remote learning and teaching

Kelly O. raided her desk at school and brought all her tech home, so she’s got what she needs where she needs it.

We’ve got tech envy.

Curved screen and computer on desk with overhead microphone and light

“Being both a social studies and film teacher means I am lucky enough to have access to some more advanced tools for long-distance teaching,” explains Jeroen H. from the Netherlands. “Having my own house and a dedicated study also helps.”

You can still display student work.

Teacher posing in front of a wall of student artwork

If you brought work home with you, tack it up on a bulletin board or the wall behind you. You can also have kids send you pics of their creations, and share them in a slideshow.

Source: @mrs_dykes_art

Meet them where they are.

Teacher in virtual classroom wearing white sunglasses filter

“Tik Tok video reminders about work for students,” says Gina L. “I’ve lost my mind.” Nah, Gina, you look fab-u-lous!

There are so many ways to do storytime now.

Teacher sitting in a chair reading from a book facing a camera for virtual instruction

Maybe one of the best parts of this pandemic is how important books have become again. Teachers are doing lots of virtual read-alongs, and famous authors are too!

Source: @icademyvirtual

She’s got the essentials.

Laptop on table covered with green cloth, computer chair and can of Lysol spray

Debbie L. is in a makeshift space in her living room, but she’s got what she really needs: Lysol and coffee.

Seriously, there must be coffee.

Laptop set up on coffee table with television in background and Starbucks cup

Erin E. is in the living room too … and her coffee is also within easy reach.

It might be time to invest in some chalkboard paint.

Teacher standing in front of a chalkboard wall with an example of a punnett square

If you’ve got the space, order a can of chalkboard or whiteboard paint and turn an empty wall into a teaching tool.

Source: @home_sweet_classroom

At least it’s close to the gym.

Computer desk and chair in room with bean bag seat and bookcases

Erin M. is using her document cam as a webcam. She’s also got options for working out and lounging close by!

Be sure to experiment with lighting.

Collage of a teachers face with and without proper lighting

Make your face as clear as possible by finding the best lighting solution you can. Find some good tips here.

Source: @vipkid_teacherdanielle

Co-teachers are getting lazier by the minute.

Teacher laptop and three dogs on bed with burgundy blanket

“My co-teachers are completely useless, I tell you,” grumbles Jody N. “We’re going to have a serious talk at the next PLC!”

And it’s not just dogs.

Two cats lounging on table alongside laptop and notebook

Kim R.’s co-teachers look just as helpful as Jody N.’s, don’t you think?

Dropping by your classroom feels like a trip to the past.

Teacher standing in her classroom holding a sign that says I Miss You

Some schools are allowing teachers back in briefly to pick up supplies they need for the virtual classroom. Every trip back is definitely bittersweet.

Source: @my_teachermom_life

She’s ready for her close-up!

Laptop set up on white vanity table with pink lighting virtual school

Emily L. had to turn her vanity into a virtual classroom. “But it turned out cute!” She also shares, “My pets are stoked that I’ve been home so much and my dog has been sleeping at my feet while I work all day.”

Make your backdrop count.

Homemade background for remote teaching with colorful puzzle piece bulletin board

Tania C. created this colorful backdrop for her Zoom meetings with her pre-K students. So engaging!

Think of it as a chance to decorate a whole new classroom.

Desk and wall decorated with science stencils and a sign reading "Bless This Mess" along with science materials on the desk

Teachers love to decorate their classrooms, so don’t deprive yourself. You can decorate a virtual classroom too!

Source: @beauty_and_the_beaker

Teachers can hack anything.

Laptop propped up on Harry Potter books in kitchen to teach from home

Rikki H. is recording her lessons from home, and needed her computer to be just a bit higher. (Rikki, can we plan a virtual game night with you?)

The smile is what matters.

Teacher sitting in virtual classroom with cross and whiteboard on the wall

Calah S. is recording her lessons too, and she knows her smiling face is something her students really need to see right now.

The dress code has been … relaxed.

Teacher at home in his kitchen holding a mug and wearing bright green shorts along with shirt and tie

At least every day can be jeans day now!

Source: @jonaleebuckel

Thank goodness for spare rooms.

Spare room with light carpet with desk and laptop for remote learning

“I am so thankful that we just moved into a house and have 3 bedrooms,” says Anna S. “We used to live in studios and 1-bedroom apartments.” (She also strongly recommends getting a phone tripod.)

Having fun is definitely still allowed.

Teacher sitting in a chair surrounded by the accoutrements of a beach visit reading the book Shark Detective while in front of a TV screen featuring a beach scene

Spread all the smiles you can right now … everyone needs lots of laughter!

Source: @allisonmarieabc

Surround yourself with plants.

Brown desk covered with laptop, plants and flowers for teaching at home

Janelle C. and her beautiful plants found a place with lots of natural light, which is good for all of them.

Music lessons are going online too.

Apple computer monitor screen with sheet music on a desk

Every teacher is part of this new virtual world. We’re all making beautiful music together!

Source: @msyingpiano

She’s gettin’ wiggy with it!

Virtual classroom screen showing teacher and vocabulary lesson

Heather C. knows how to have fun in a virtual classroom: “Making silly newscasts in wigs to play different characters and teach vocabulary.” Fantastic!

Can’t get away from staff meetings.

Laptop screen featuring a zoom meeting of school staff

On the plus side, you can attend in your pajamas, and no one will care.

Source: @huronacademy

Sorry, folks, no pool today.

Pool table at teacher's home covered with file folders for remote learning

Christine W. is using her game room to prep packets for her preschoolers and teaching from a wingback chair in front of her laptop.

Virtual field trips are pretty great.

Teacher standing in front of a green screen in a red and white polka dot dress, Minnie Mouse headband, and dot on her nose

Visit the pyramids, go to a zoo in Australia, tour the halls of the Louvre … there are a lot of virtual field trip options available (no permission slips required).

Source: @mrs.greenpower

Goodbye, dining room. Hello, classroom.

Teacher dining room converted into virtual classroom during pandemic

Lisa S. rounded up everything she could before her school shut down. “I grabbed the whiteboard, poster paper, and four bags of stuff including read alouds, teacher’s manuals, and student supplies. Just in case!” Way to think ahead, Lisa!

Keeping in touch is worth the effort.

Letters for students arranged attractively on a desk

It’s always fun for kids to get mail. And these coloring postcards are so much fun!

Source: @thetasselisworththehassle

Ever feel like someone is watching you?

White desk with Apple computer and anatomy model set up for remote learning

Globes and bells have been teacher aids for centuries, so of course they belong in the virtual classroom! (Not sure how we’d feel about having that anatomy guy staring at us all day, though.)

Whoa, is this guy for hire?AV assistant setting up to film a teach from home scene with a teacher preparing a lesson in the background

This is definitely not the standard expectation, teachers!

Source: @wildheartoutdoors

Invest in a comfy chair.

Two laptops set up on desks with plush black computer chair with window in background

Most teachers aren’t used to sitting all day, but it’s a little different in a virtual classroom. Kimberly H.’s setup reminds us that you’ll want to make sure you have a supportive desk chair.

Keep your screen at eye-level.

Wood desk used to raise height of laptop for virtual classroom

Looking down at your screen all day is terrible for your neck. Find a way to bring it up to eye level, like Heather L. did.

Use what you’ve got.

Plastic stool used to prop up laptop on light colored table in kitchen

Here’s another option, courtesy of Lori P. We love teacher ingenuity!

Host your own live science documentary.

Teacher sitting outside in front of a laptop with tadpoles in an aquarium with green water on the outdoor table

Plus, you don’t have to try to get that glass tank of tadpoles to school without spilling water all over your car.

Source: @miltongottesman

Have EZ-Grader, will travel.

Interior of an RV with a desk set up for mobile teaching including a laptop, folders, and EZGrader

“I am teaching from my camper,” shares Catherine T. “Gets me out of my house, but just to the back yard. My camper is my happy place, and so is my classroom! Double good!”

Show-and-Tell has taken on a whole new meaning.

Meme of Bilbo Baggins running through the shire with a laptop in his hands with the words "Kids participating in a zoom call with their class... 'Wanna See My House?'"

“… and my hamster, and my new baby sister, and my LEGO thing I just built, and my mom’s feet, and…”

Source: @sometolaughat

There are suddenly a lot of one-room schoolhouses again.

Portable table set up in a home to be a virtual classroom for multiple students including chairs, laptops, and schoolbooks

At Jennifer’s K.’s house, they’ve got one 5th grade teacher, one 6th grader, and one high school freshman. There’s a lot of learning going on there.

When in doubt, just go for it.

Teacher standing in a shower/bath stall doing virtual instruction writing with dry erase marker on the shower wall while in front of a laptop

No one seems to know who the teacher is in this photo that’s been making the rounds on social media. Suffice it to say, she’s definitely our hero!

See more virtual classroom pics and share your own on the WeAreTeachers Facebook page.

There are hundreds of amazing online learning resources for every age and subject. Check out our enormous list here.

Collage of scenes related to teaching from home along with text that reads "What it looks like to teach from home during COVID-19 school closures"