Teachers during the Pandemic

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Kelsie Anderson

In Mrs. Storey’s classroom, students are spread apart to ensure social distancing.

Kelsie Anderson, Reporter

Due to the current pandemic, some teachers are having a difficult time adjusting to the way school is currently being taught here at TJ.

Ms. Lu McClellen, one of TJ’s math teachers, talked about her feelings as a teacher during the pandemic.

“It increases the anxiety,” she said. “My hands are super dry because I’m either washing or hand sanitizing them all the time because I don’t want to get this.”

On Monday, Oct. 5, students were asked to stay home so that teachers could have everything ready for students that are returning to school full time.

Oct. 12, was the day that students who wanted to could return to the building five days a week.

Throughout the school week, teachers set up a Google Meet with a group of students that are currently attending school at home, as well as the students who are all virtual in addition to preparing for students in the classroom.

“Oftentimes I’ll be moving around helping kids but then I’ll have a kid online that I didn’t hear or I don’t see the chat,” McClellen continued. “I have done some Google Meets with individual kids just to help explain stuff.”

In order to help keep social distancing in the classrooms, teachers have separated the student’s desks so that they can be six feet apart from one another, or as close to six feet as possible. Teachers will also give students their own personal supplies for the class.

“We’re doing Hybrid kids, we’re doing remote, we’re doing in-class kids, and we’re doing the virtual academy kids,” said McClellen. “It’s a lot to get homework in, to get grades, to get feedback. I want my kids to get feedback as soon as I can give feedback.”

Mrs. Leaders is one of TJ’s English teachers. She also talked about her feelings as a teacher during the pandemic.

“It is difficult to give immediate feedback since I can’t always see what they are working on during class time. I don’t find the other feedback any more difficult than any other year” said Leaders.

“The biggest problem is that there is a lot more missing work this year because students are not attending class as much. I can’t give any feedback on work that is not turned in,” she added.

An email from the district was sent out to parents of students in the Council Bluffs School District over whether or not they want to send their children back to school full time or if they would prefer to stay hybrid. Teachers also filled out a survey over what teaching style suits them best.

24 teachers said that Hybrid was the best option for them, 35 teachers prefer to teach in person, and one teacher said they’d prefer to teach completely virtual.

TJ has a set plan on what happens if a staff member or a student shows symptoms of COVID.

In TJ’s Return to Learn Plan, it stated what staff members are asked to do if they develop symptoms. “The staff member will be isolated in the TJAC Isolation Room until he/she has determined the next steps. Administration will notify the district office, who will advise on the next steps and any necessary communications.”

If students show symptoms of COVID they will report to the TJAC Isolation Room. Teachers must notify the building SAM if the student is sent to the TJAC Isolation Room; the school nurse will then come and check on the student and determine what steps will need to be taken.

While walking through the hallways and while you’re in class please remember to wear your masks correctly and stay six feet away from others in order to maintain the safety of staff and students.

While things are definitely different this year, for both teachers and students; we can all do our part to keep this year running as smoothly as possible.