inFocus: Teaching during a pandemic

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(WDVM)–Many teachers have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Having to deal with sudden and drastic changes to their teaching methods while making sure students still get the educational support they need.

Washington High School (Jefferson County Schools) teacher, Megan Hibner, teaches Family and Consumer Sciences and Career Education. This year, she’ll be starting her academic year teaching in-person classes. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, classes look different than in years past.

“It seems like everyday everything is changing,” said Hibner.

By nature, Hibner’s classes are hands-on. The classes involve group work such as cooking and collaborating on projects. She said she had to take extra measures to ensure student safety. Instead of working in groups, students will now be completing projects solo.

Hibner also used a color-coding system to help separate cookware and other kitchen supplies in order to minimize germ spread.

“It’s thinking of how I can still provide the same opportunity for my students but in a safe way,” she said.

Over at Washington County Public Schools, Ann Palmer is gearing up to teach third grade at Jonathan Hager Elementary virtually, after a distanced learning spring semester due to the pandemic.

“I’m used to the change,” said Palmer.

In order to make content engaging, Palmer said she added more freedoms for her students. Their virtual school day starts around 9 a.m. instead of 7:35 a.m. She also lets them pick books they want to read during reading time.

“I just really want to try to make the learning as engaging as possible and now it’s virtual and distance learning and so what I know works with learning and I’ll just try to make that work,” said Palmer.

During a time of sudden change and unfamiliarity, both teachers, hoping for continued patience as the school year progresses.

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