Teachers work to keep students safe

Math+teacher+Peter+Hamilton+takes+precautions+by+wiping+down+desks.+Hamilton+ensures+safety+for+students+in+the+classroom.%0A

Photo by Greta Sorenson

Math teacher Peter Hamilton takes precautions by wiping down desks. Hamilton ensures safety for students in the classroom.

Greta Sorenson, Social Media Editor

Teachers have been affected by COVID-19 immensely, and have to change their style of teaching by incorporating online learning. This year teachers are experimenting with new ways to teach students and are finding their way through this pandemic.

The new schedule consists of only three classes for one quarter and a new three classes for the next quarter. The classes go at a faster pace by fitting a semester’s worth of content in a quarter length of time.

“I kind of think that this idea of a block schedule is nice, it’s a longer time period, the time periods have actually gone pretty fast for us. But I think it’s gonna allow us to build deeper relationships and learn kids a little bit better,” math teacher Peter Hamilton said. 

Distancing in the classroom is being practiced and students stay six feet apart. Teachers and administrators are trying their hardest to take precautions, but there are still concerns about safety. 

Having the ability to teach a smaller group has been nice. I think it will give students kind of more confidence in participating with fewer classmates. It gives teachers an opportunity to reach all of the students and build relationships with all the students.”

— Hannah Fuller

Principal Rob Bach said he is concerned with everything including the safety of students and staff, along with learning. He thinks the school needs a structure that allows for students to learn while being safe.

Smaller class sizes allow teachers and students to build a strong relationship. Teachers  feel opportunity is a substantial way to get to know fewer students at one time.

“Having the ability to teach a smaller group has been nice. I think it will give students kind of more confidence in participating with fewer classmates. It gives teachers an opportunity to reach all of the students and build relationships with all the students,” history teacher Hannah Fuller said.

There are positives to this system of learning. With all the videos online, teachers will be able to reuse the material for the following years and students can look back when they are at home.

“The amount of content that we’re going to have, using videos, online assignments and assessments, the material we’re going to be able to get produced and out there for students is going to make it easier for kids to go back and reassess, and just do things that they weren’t able to do before because it was just mostly in person.” Hamilton said. 

Teachers are now responsible for cleaning every desk and chair after each class period. They take time and effort to ensure students safety and are wearing themselves out by wiping down desks.

“It’s a challenge. That’s like a lot of work. Every day of teaching we’re tired, we’re exhausted, and each of these things that we do differently kind of add up.” Hamilton said.

The one way hallways prevent congestion and allow students to stay apart. However, this means students have to go a longer way to their class. Some students arrive late to their classes because of this.

Fuller discusses that she has had “a couple of kids each day that have been late due to one way hallways. It’s pretty tricky. I think once they get the hang of it, it will go a lot smoother. I’ve been pretty lenient about it though, because I know how difficult it is to get to where you need to go with a one way hallway.”

“I think it’s just something that as educators, we have challenges all the time. And this is definitely a larger challenge that we’ve had. Hamilton said.