First-time teachers give perspective on pandemic teaching

New teachers during pandemic
Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 20:33:02-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Teachers across Kansas and Missouri are gearing up for the upcoming school year. Many have an idea about what to expect after schools went virtual in the spring. But for new teachers, this type of learning is uncharted water.

"It's a roll of transition, if you will. For me, instead of being the student, now I am the person kicking out all these assignments," said Diazhane Ellis, a first-time teacher in Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools.

"There is not a class for pandemic teaching," said Kindred Baldus, another new teacher in the Grandview C-4 School District.

Baldus is spending her days setting up her classroom, as her district is allowing instructors to teach from their rooms while students are learning remotely. At the same time, she's learning new online programs.

"We do Eureka Math and so that is mapped out for the entire year for me," Baldus said. "So I don't have to prep for that. I will have to learn how to teach that way."

Caroline Kinney is going to be a second-grade teacher in the Blue Valley School District. She is excited for the new challenge, but said it does come with a little pressure.

Ellis is in the same boat. She is going to be a Spanish teacher at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Missouri.

"Sometimes, I think maybe it is a little normal to feel overwhelmed right, because now everything is online. But I have a feeling that we are going to come out even stronger," Ellis said.

This new normal is hard on teachers, who are all hoping the coronavirus doesn't scare away future teachers.

"Most teachers I know got into it because of their love of education and the students. I don't think that's gonna hold anyone back that has that same love," Baldus said.

All of the new teachers said they went into this field to change lives. They feel that they can still do that, even during a pandemic.

"I just can't stop having this feeling that we are going to have a great year, even though it may look a little bit different," Ellis said.