COVID-19 has affected everyone; especially students and teachers. Teachers at Central have gone above and beyond to move curriculum and learning online while many balance both virtual and in-person classes. Almost every aspect of student and teacher life has been altered in some way, and many teachers have been forced to accommodate a brand new climate.
Central art teacher Mrs. Sigmon notes several changes such as, “I have started using Canvas on a daily basis so that my quarantined students could learn from each lesson. This meant there was a change in direct instruction and grading.” She said that learning to navigate Canvas while adjusting lessons and instruction required a delicate balancing act. Mrs. Toll, a member of the English department, notes some of the physical changes for in-person classes, “I used to have a seating chart that was group-oriented, but I’ve really had to spread out my desks.”
Regarding the mask policy, Mrs. Sigmon added “our mask policy was necessary to keep us all safe, though I didn’t enjoy wearing mine any more than anyone else did.” She expresses optimism that things may be back to normal by the end of next school year. Mrs. Toll hopes “with vaccinations and lower COVID numbers that next year will look much more normal, but I do think that masks should still be in use since people under 16 can’t be vaccinated, and we don’t want to spread the virus at school.”
When reflecting on this school year’s struggles, Mrs. Sigmon admits that “difficult” is an understatement. “Teaching four classes in the Fall with three different preps and learning the Canvas program at the same time was an impossible task…Fall semester was rather frenzied.” Like many other teachers at Central and across the country, Mrs. Sigmon reflects, “I had to let go of a lot of the expectations I have for myself. It’s emotionally tough for a seasoned teacher to be doing lots of new things and to feel like he/she is not doing a good job.” However, the year has not been all struggle. Mrs. Toll says overall “I don’t mind wearing a mask, I like seeing students at school, and I enjoy the use of chromebooks to work on assignments. I think we’re all somewhat grateful to be here, versus being stuck at home like we were last spring! Home time is nice, but learning and being together are great as well.”
Students at Central have found some things easier according to teachers having to go “above and beyond to move curriculum.” The students can find some ways teachers have set things up to be easier to understand, and they can find some things to be a little more difficult to understand. Both, teachers and students’ lives have been altered in a way.
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