NewsLocal News


KCPS teachers 'in the zone' despite virtual classes

Educators choose at-home or in-classroom setting
KCPS Teachers
Posted at 2:13 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 19:13:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Usually, the first day of classes at J.A. Rogers Elementary School is loud and filled with hundreds of students. But on Tuesday, it was quiet as students learned from home and teachers gave lessons over iPads and computers.

While not ideal for educators, those like first-grade teacher Marissa Mahaffey are excited to be back doing what they love.

"At home, I just felt like an everyday worker, and I just didn't feel like I was a teacher, but here, I can feel it," Mahaffey said about being back in a classroom.

KCPS gave teachers the option to either teach in their classroom at the Kansas City, Missouri, schools or at home.

Mahaffey decorated her classroom as she waits for the day she can meet her new students in-person. But while she waits, she is teaching 6-year-olds through an iPad.

"It's hard," she said. "It's already definitely tricky. Just making sure they are looking at me, but things so far seem to be kind of OK."

On the floor above her is second grade teacher Carly Overesch.

When 41 Action News met with her, she was in the process of getting students from one virtual classroom to another.

Her patience was unmatched, as she remained calm and helpful, coaching children through a new normal.

But Overesch said the obstacle is what makes her love teaching.

"Today is challenging, and it's challenging for them. It's exciting for all of us," Overesch said. "But, in the end it's all about them and making sure everything is a little bit easier for them."

Both women said while this first week might be exhausting and sometimes frustrating, knowing one day they will see their students in-person gets them through the day.

"I felt myself during reading the books as I was like, 'Oh, I am teaching again.' I feel like I am in the zone," Mahaffey said.