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See the creative way teachers are taking socially distant class photos

Teachers are having to think "inside the box" when taking the annual group photo.
/ Source: TODAY

Class photos are a timeless tradition that give school-aged kids a keepsake to remember the year by. But, thanks to the pandemic, virtual learning, and the need to keep kids socially distant in the classroom, teachers have had to get creative to get that 2020-2021 class photo.

For many, the solution to the problem comes in the form of a cardboard box.

Creative educators are asking students to pose for individual photos inside cardboard boxes, then using photo editing apps to combine the snapshots into a collection of students who appear to be stacked into one partitioned box.

The results are so adorable, they deserve an A.

"This was definitely a time where thinking outside the box was actually thinking inside the box," said Kat Marsch, a second-grade teacher from Ruth Hooker School in Selkirk Manitoba, Canada, who created a cardboard box photo with her class.

Marsch says at her school, students are required to stay three meters, or nine feet, apart, making a class photo seem impossible. When Marsch saw another teacher share a similar photo on social media, she decided to give it a try.

"My students planned out how they would position themselves within the box and everything," said Marsch. "It was a really fun collaborative project for them to do, and parents were thrilled with the alternative and that we were able to take a 'safe' class photo."

Danielle McGee is a pre-k teacher in the Galway Central School District near Albany, New York. McGee says some parents had expressed disappointment that there wouldn't be a class photo to commemorate their child's pre-k experience, leading her to attempt a cardboard box photo of her own.

"I took each of the students' photos individually inside the box — we joked and said we were shipping them to California and they loved it," McGee told TODAY Parents. "Their personalities just shined."

At the Powhattan School in Boyce, Virginia, kindergarten teacher Tammy Lucas and a colleague posed their students into boxes for a similar shoot.

"We had to come up with a fun way to put our little friends together that represents the climate of the times," said Lucas. "This was a perfect way to build our memories, strengthen our kindergarten community, and keep our social distance."