KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Teachers are getting ready for a new school year after navigating the learning curve created by the pandemic last year.
"As an educator, this past year was probably one of the most challenging years that I've ever had as a classroom teacher," Sandra Dayse, a teacher at Kansas City Public Schools said.
Dayse is a fourth grade teacher at African-Centered College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Missouri.
With 30 years of experience in education, she never thought her career would include virtual teaching.
"We had to pick up brand new skills, very quickly so we will be able to educate our scholars in a virtual environment," Dayse said.
Access to technology for the students was one issue. The other was troubleshooting problems technology would bring.
"We as teachers had to learn some technology because we couldn't call IT right then and there in the middle of a lesson," Dayse said. "We had to figure out if there was something wrong with the iPad. What did the scholars need to do at that moment, so we can continue on with the lesson and so they could continue on with us."
Beyond technology, Dayse said protocols were put in place to protect against the spread of the virus.
"The district did a great job with our protocol for scholars, coming back into the classroom," Dayse said. "We came back in March, and we had things set up. Each school was a little bit different, but most of the schools we really, really followed those mandates. The protocol, the hand washing on a regular basis, the wearing of the mask, the social distancing."
A new school year begins Aug. 23 and Dayse said she cannot wait for a return to in-person teaching.
"You need that human element," Dayse said. "And even though we were masked, it's a difference when you're right there with that scholar, and they can see you in person, eye-to-eye. And then you can see them, eye-to-eye and watch them and you can pick up on little things, if they're having trouble with something you can see it right there."