Teachers Talk about Teaching During Pandemic

Teachers+Talk+about+Teaching+During+Pandemic

Jacob Fortner, Joey Borup, Tate Young, Shane Reeder, Carlos Sosa, Author

     School within the current pandemic has teachers, students, parents, and staff concerned as to whether it’s safe to be at school. The school has been a breeding ground for the flu and other illnesses in the past, so the concern for the spread of Covid-19 is on everybody’s mind. With many schools either going 100% online, 100% in person, or some sort of hybrid, we wanted to know how people felt about going back to school, and the problems that people have been facing with this new complicated way of education.

    Within Telluride’s hybrid learning program, many students are coming back to in-person classes. There have been numerous surveys and questions given to students to see how people are feeling about being back in person. But throughout this hard time, we rarely have gotten to hear the perspectives of the teachers. So, over the last few weeks, we’ve been communicating with teachers here at Telluride High School (THS) to see how they’ve managed to teach students during this complicated school year. 

     In an attempt to analyze teachers’ opinions regarding hybrid learning, we quickly realized teachers conveyed the same problems and concerns as did students. The main problem teachers faced was having half of the students online and half of the students in person, and how stressful it is to balance that. “The hardest thing about this hybrid learning is making plans that accommodate both online students and in-person students.” Many teachers have said. Having students half online, half in person, and some all online, has been very difficult to manage for many educators.

     In an effort to counter this problem, teachers have talked about trying to limit how much time each student spends on a screen each day, but only having the Zoom platform/Schoology and PowerSchool makes this problem more difficult to overcome. Though undoubtedly, teachers are finding ways to make their jobs easier. “As we have gotten into the school year we have been able to figure out ways that accommodate all students.” Katie Twitchell, the biology teacher at THS, says. As the year goes on all teachers are hopeful that they will find productive methods to make hybrid work for them.

     Overall, we found that the biggest concern for everyone in the school building is catching the covid-19 virus. All members of the high school community including parents, students, and staff are scared of getting the virus from being in school. However, having masks on, cleaning all desks, and the new school layout has definitely made the transition from online school to hybrid as safe as it can be. “All of this sucks but it is all worth it.” Scott Lambert, a math teacher at THS says. In the end, all teachers are working very hard to make this the best school year they can and all we can do is be respectful of their process and remember to wear our masks as much as we can!

As we were going to “print,” a large spike in San Miguel County’s positive Covid testing has forced the TMHS to return to fully remote, distance learning. We will continue to cover and provide updates on TSD learning during Covid. Keep checking in on your THS Today school paper!