This school year has been unlike any other. Both students and teachers have had to adjust to the changes. This year has introduced many new challenges for people to face and has caused teaching and learning to have new obstacles.
Teachers are trained to interact with students at school. The majority of teachers have no training when it comes to teaching online and this makes doing their jobs harder.
“Financially things have been more stressful because the opportunities we had before as teachers to do extra work for more pay doesn’t exist anymore. Even though we are doing a lot more ‘extra’ without the compensation,” said Kelsey Pratt, the Family Living and Introduction to Education teacher. Pratt went on to talk about the struggle of not having any mental/emotional breaks or as much motivation to do her job.
Pratt is not the only teacher who is feeling the pressure of hybrid learning. Gregory Sand, a math teacher, said, “For me, the biggest challenge is teaching a wide variety of classes (6 different) while only having a team of other teachers to work with for one of those classes (Precalculus). The volume of work is tremendous and often takes up most evenings and weekends with time spent preparing and grading.”
The stress of teaching is not the only thing that our teachers have to worry about. Safety has been a main priority this year. Unlike students, the teachers in the building interact with other people every day.
Pratt says, “I would have preferred we stay fully remote instead of being hybrid. If going back SAFELY, all in-person could be accomplished, I would prefer that. Or if there is a way to not have to navigate so many different options in one class setting (certain teachers doing in person while others focused on remote).”
Both Pratt and Sand believe Central is doing the best that it can to keep everyone feeling safe, but the fear of being infected is still there. Due to this, people must discuss what would happen if they got infected and/or create a plan if they do.
“Hopefully we can stay safe during this pandemic, but if one of use catches it, we have a plan to allow us to all stay at home and keep each other healthy,” Sand said while discussing his family.
With new challenges comes a learning opportunity. The idea that people learn something new every day has been proven true with these teachers.
Molly McVay, a Human Geography and American Government teacher said, “I have been pushed out of my comfort zone in terms of teaching using new modalities, but I have appreciated the opportunity to test out new apps and resources. I am teaching a new content area this year, so there is constant learning happening.”
Pratt adds, “I’ve learned that it’s important to not take things for granted, like getting to breathe in fresh air and getting to see people smile. I’ve learned that I wouldn’t do well at a job where I didn’t get to work with people and truly get to know them.”
Sand said, “I’ve learned how to teach differently; working with both remote and in-person learning has forced me away from some teaching strategies and towards others that meet the needs of a greater variety of students.”
Teaching is already a hard profession when all the students are in the room, so with hybrid learning, teachers must work much harder with less gratification.