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Teachers speak out on covid, classroom

by Dave Perozek | October 25, 2020 at 3:22 a.m.
Leah Smith, fourth grade literacy and social studies teacher, looks on,Monday, October 5, 2020 at the Clinton Schools Administration Building in Clinton. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

What teachers are saying about the 2020-2021 school year.

"I feel like, from the top all the way to the bottom, there's not a person or a department in a school district across the United States that is not doing something that they've never had to do before, or that is not doing something that has made them a little uncomfortable, to have to kind of step out of their comfort zone a little."

-- Tiffany Hamilton, television production teacher, Siloam Springs High School

...

"When I have a kid in the classroom, and they get confused, I can see it on their face. If my kid's virtual, I don't know where the confusion starts when they're on an assignment, so it's a little harder to figure out where I need to go to give them intervention to get them where they need to be."

-- Leah Smith, fourth-grade teacher, Clinton Elementary School

...

"I am more stressed, just because stress levels are higher, and we have to deal with so many things outside of work and school. But honestly, it's never been a question of whether I want to do this job. In fact, it's verified that yes, I want to do this job and I want to do it here."

-- Staci Conatser, history teacher, Murfreesboro High School

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...

"We all feel like we're first-year teachers again. Your first year in education is super, super hard. And this [year] ranks right up there with it."

-- Amber Harbin, STEM coordinator, Forest Heights STEM Academy in Little Rock

...

"From a support aspect, I couldn't ask any more from my district. They're really going above and beyond. And I like the fact we're being consistent. We have a plan in place, we're sticking to our rules and our guidelines, and we're moving forward with education, and it's working."

-- Grover Welch, English teacher, Newport High School

...

"I work all the time. My day does not end at 3:30. Lots of nights I stay up very late. Too late, some nights. I don't want to get behind, because then I can't give my kids that immediate feedback that I like. So I like to get to their work as soon as I can, that way, before they go on to the next lesson, if they've made a mistake or they don't understand something, I can go back and fix it before they're multiple lessons ahead."

-- Kayla Kuykendall, virtual kindergarten and first-grade teacher, South Pike County School District

Tiffany Hamilton, Siloam Springs High School teacher
Tiffany Hamilton, Siloam Springs High School teacher
Staci Conatser, Murfreesboro High School teacher
Staci Conatser, Murfreesboro High School teacher
Amber Harbin, STEM coordinator at Forest Heights STEM Academy, Little Rock School District
Amber Harbin, STEM coordinator at Forest Heights STEM Academy, Little Rock School District
Grover Welch, Newport High School English teacher
Grover Welch, Newport High School English teacher
Kayla Kuykendall, virtual kindergarten and first grade teacher, South Pike County School District
Kayla Kuykendall, virtual kindergarten and first grade teacher, South Pike County School District
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