Evaluating Teachers’ Teams Backgrounds

Online learning has had many challenges. From the truly agonizing task of waking up at 7 AM for homeroom to merely fall asleep for your first couple periods to the annoying ritual of turning off your internet whenever your teacher calls on you so you don’t have to answer the question, this year has been difficult for all of us. But the hardest challenge has been one that often gets unnoticed by the student population but one that teachers know all too well: the loss of the classroom as a vehicle of aesthetic expression for teachers. No longer can teachers hang up laminated memes from 2012 on their walls. No longer can students hope to see motivational cat posters every other time slot. This has left teachers in a very difficult position — how can they express themselves artistically now that they don’t have access to the walls of peeling paint at Allderdice to put things onto? Well some teachers have found a solution to this issue: Teams backgrounds. 

For students, Teams backgrounds seem like nothing more than just a way to hide the room that you haven’t cleaned since the pandemic started. But for teachers, these virtual backdrops allow for complete expression with just one picture. Like any form of art these backgrounds must be critiqued and judged for their artistic merit, and I, a certified art lover, am just the person to do it. 

Blurred Backgrounds

Let’s start with the background that you have most likely seen used the most: the blurred background. All the blurred background does is, well, in the name: it blurs the actual surroundings around you while keeping you in focus. What does this background say about the person who uses it? It says that they are insecure about their rooms or maybe that they are hiding a body that they don’t want anyone to see. And that is just the genius of it. The blurred background keeps you guessing, you will never be able to truly understand it and you can interpret however you like and you’d technically be correct. Art has had many movements that have challenged typical artistic norms. Movements like pointillism, absurdism, and modernism have prided themselves on creating images that deconstruct reality and then reconstruct in the eyes of the artists and I argued that blurrism will be the newest art phenomenon and we have our teachers to thank for popularizing this new movement. 

Standard Classroom Background 

This background has no official name as far as I know but I will simply call the standard classroom background. I can’t express the way this background makes me feel. All I know is it is all I see when I go to sleep. It haunts my nightmares like some cruel demon, and whenever I wake up screaming I know it is because of that background. Its weird modernist aesthetic with glass walls, high ceiling, and slightly deconstructed look with the exposed venting makes the building seem as if it belongs to some strange nightmare future where all education is privatized and the PPS district is bought by Walnut Capital. It is hard for me to even say this is the worst background because worse doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about it. All I can say is that I hope anyone who was introduced to this background via this article can find it in your heart to forgive me. 

Actual Classroom Background

Nostalgia is one of the most powerful human emotions and nothing proves this more than the hottest new trend in teacher backgrounds. This trend is having your background simply just be a photo of your classroom. At first this may just seem boring. I mean all it is a picture of their classroom but the more you look at it the more meaningful it is. For teachers, their classrooms serve as a second home both in a metaphorical and in a very real way as it is a well documented fact that after school teachers sleep hanging upside from their ceiling like bats. So by using their actual classrooms as their background they are actually showing something that they missed very much. Despite the positive feelings intended beyond this background I can’t in good faith say it is better than the blurred background due to one important aspect: some teacher’s rooms are ugly. Many teachers seem to have a complex understanding of color theory and how to make pretty rooms but other teachers just don’t have that skill.