Teacher Talk: 30-year teacher talks education in the time of COVID

In one way or another, students will be returning to school in just a matter of days. In light of the ongoing pandemic, teachers, parents, and students are grappling with what education looks like now.

One Justus-Tiawah kindergarten teacher said she for one is excited to get back in the classroom.

“I teach kindergarten at Justus Tiawah where I have been for the past 22 years. I am very excited to return face to face on August 19. We have spent many hours preparing a plan to return face to face that is comprehensive,” Barbara Lane said.

“We have three kindergarten classes with at least 23 in each class at this point, so I’m still trying to process what my room will look like and what our days will look like. I have started scaling down on toys and such. I won’t be able to utilize my sensory table in the beginning.”

She said the school district has policies in place for different scenarios, but is still fine-tuning procedures and such per grade level. “Once we know how many kiddos will be coming face to face and how many will be joining us virtually, we will have more solid plans put into place. This week was the deadline for the surveys to be returned by the parents to let our district know how their children plan to return to school,” she said.

She said there was no way for educators to have seen this coming, and no way educators could have been trained for this variable.

“We do get ongoing training in all kinds of other areas: health and safety, technology, new teaching strategies, and such,” she said. “But not this.”

She said she never could have imagined something like this happening to the world, or to the education system.

“This virus may be with us for a while, but I’m certain that in the near future we will all feel more secure and relaxed about schools being open, churches resuming weekly activities and such,” she said. “There is so much science that looks to be encouraging regarding this virus.”

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