After many months of distance learning, school has started back up again. With many new changes coming to SHS, it’s going to take awhile to get used to the new rules and schedule being implemented this school year. The school day has been cut almost in half making classes only about an hour long and many new social distancing rules are taking place. This has changed the school day completely.
These adjustments are not only a challenge for students. Many teachers are struggling to adjust to the new school day along with the added stress of wearing masks. Some Sandpoint High School teachers were asked to share their thoughts.
Q: How has the new school schedule changed how you teach?
A: “It impacted it quite a bit, mainly because as a CTE teacher we do a lot of labs and things like that. We don’t have time to do that because of all the set up. Essentially I went from a teacher that never assigned homework to now having to regularly assign it. I’m still trying to get the timing down of the classes since I am used to the longer classes.”
Q: What are some things you like about the new schedule?
A: “One of the things I do like is getting to see the kids everyday. It’s been helpful… I can see a kid each day and if they are missing a couple of assignments I can say, “Hey, you’re missing this.” Verses every other day sometimes you forget that a kid hadn’t turned in an assignment. I do like the shortened class periods, they are fun. It’s also made me become a better teacher because now I have to think about what I’m doing and what I’m saying. So this is one of the things that has benefitted the students, I cut out some of the fluff that was kinda in there before just to fill up time.”
Q: How do you and your students wearing a mask affect how you teach?
A: “They lose something with my face because I’m smiling and I’m pretty non verbal. They can’t tell what I’m saying half the time so I think they miss part of what I’m saying.”
Q: How do you think the new schedule is going to affect the students?
A: “The classes are fast. I am really worried about kids learning because I have to teach it so fast and I don’t think kids are absorbing it very well. There’s so much material and so little time and it’s going to be hard for kids to keep up. Also if they get behind it’s going to be hard for them to catch back up.”
Q: How has the new schedule affected your teaching?
A: “I normally do a lot of big projects and I can’t do any of those things anymore. The spread of germs and sharing equipment creates a big problem and we just don’t have time anymore. All of the movies I used to show. Gone. It’s basically I’ve had to cut out all the fun stuff and recreate everything else. I have to modify everything I used to teach to fit the small amount of class time. It’s a huge amount of time after school lesson planning.”
These three teachers agree that getting their point across to their students while wearing a mask has been challenging as well as the quicker pace of the lessons. Most teachers’ lesson plans have been completely changed in order to accommodate the new rules and schedule. However, they are fortunate that they get to see their students on a daily basis.