5 Things You Won't See in Classrooms After the Coronavirus

Expert says these classroom changes spurred by COVID-19 are necessary to stop the spread.

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With coronavirus still spreading in certain areas of the country, schools across the United States have closed up shop through the end of the semester—and likely beyond. And when kids do return to school, it probably will look a little different than it did pre-pandemic.

In an effort to keep students safe, teachers and administrators will have to make some major changes—including removing a handful of common schoolroom items. Read on for five things you won't see in classrooms after the coronavirus. And for more ways COVID-19 will change education, check out these 7 Things You'll Never See in Schools Again After Coronavirus.

1
Pump-activated hand sanitizer dispensers

girl applying hand sanitizer in school
Shutterstock/Titikul_B

While some schools have already added hand-sanitizer dispensers to classrooms and bathrooms to help stem the spread of germs, they're about to get a whole lot more high-tech than those pump-activated dispensers, which can transfer coronavirus and other pathogens between students.

"[Motion-activated dispensers] will be installed on the inside and outside of each classroom entrance and at entrances to the school itself," says Karen Aronian, EdD, founder of Aronian Education Design. She also notes that many schools are likely to adopt pre- and post-class hand sanitizing for all students to limit their risk of spreading coronavirus and other illnesses.

2
Pencil sharpeners

hand operated pencil sharpener
Shutterstock/Onizuka Yoshiki

That march to the front of the classroom to sharpen a blunted pencil may be a thing of the past, thanks to COVID-19.

"In-class pencil sharpeners will be replaced by pencil sharpeners that are personally carried in a student's pencil case," says Aronian, who predicts that mechanical pencils will also become more widespread in schools. And if you want to keep your own space safer, make sure you know these 18 Things You Should Sanitize Every Day But Aren't.

3
Reading nooks

young children in preschool reading nook having a story read to them by their teacher
Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

Despite being the places where countless kids developed their love of reading, those comfy corners filled with bean bags and books could be a classroom's coronavirus hotspot.

"[They'll] be traded out and scaled back so as to remove soft items that are difficult to sanitize and maintain as germ-free," says Aronian. Want to protect your own well-being? Start by avoiding these 7 Things You'll Never Want to Touch Again After the Coronavirus.

4
Communal sports equipment

children's sports equipment with hula hoops, scooters, and soccer balls
Shutterstock/Pavel Finashov

The good news? Your kid will no longer be exposed to the germs covering a shared baseball glove that's still warm from the previous player's hand.

The bad news? "Kids will be required to buy and bring their own equipment—baseball mitts, lacrosse sticks, and racquets—so as not to spread germs through shared personal items," Aronian says.

5
Door knobs

door opening into classroom
Shutterstock/Jazmine Thomas

While it may mean a pretty major design overhaul—and require a substantial budget—Aronian says that whenever possible, schools would be wise to do away with doorknobs for good.

"Hands-free unlocking and automatic door openers will open and close school doors so fewer hands touch hard surfaces and spread germs," she says. And if you're wondering where the virus could be lurking in your house, check out these 7 Home Surfaces Most Likely to Be Contaminated with Coronavirus.

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