CLS Teachers Make Magic during Pandemic


Kaiya Stafford, Journalist

Can you imagine managing elementary school students in a Zoom meeting?

Teaching during this pandemic is hard, especially for teachers of younger kids in grades through K-5.

But CLS teachers are feeling committed as a team as they learned how to use zoom for the first time.They started teaching in-person in September, and they have been teaching the remote classes in the afternoon.

According to the Edutopia article “Why Teaching Kindergarten Online Is So Very, Very Hard” by Marva Hinton,“Having a parent or guardian to assist kindergarten children with online learning makes a big difference.”

Having a parent present during the school day helps a lot with the kids who are learning online so they can get help from their teachers along with their parents.

But not all parents are home during the school day to help their kids with their schoolwork.

I heard the CLS teachers were doing really well with the in person learning and the remote learning so I went to speak with principal Brett King.

He said that they were all struggling with teaching during this ongoing pandemic and that they were trying new things together as a team.

“The advantage is the fact that it pushed many of us teachers out of our comfort zone,” Mr King said.

The disadvantage is splitting the teachers’ time during the in-person school day and the remote time. It is a lot to plan, and it takes their personal time away from them.

I asked some teachers what their greatest challenges of this year were.

“There were so many!” Mrs Yearwood said. And trying to figure out balancing the remote teaching to the in person school teaching was really challenging.

In every lesson they had to do different subjects, and they had to do it all 6 feet apart from each other. They tried to figure out a way to support the students to make them comfortable and to calm their worries about things on their minds.

Yearwood said that these challenges were so hard and so many, but the priority is to make sure the students feel comfortable in the classroom and to help them with their mental health.

Then I asked them what their biggest triumphs were. To keep an elementary student engaged on a zoom call it is important to have a routine and to play games with them. They also let them do show and tell to keep them talking because their voices should be heard.

During the classes they are supposed to be quiet but they also get to have that extra time to chat with their friends and with the teachers so their voices can be heard.

In my last interview with Mrs Torres her biggest challenge was how she manages her self care and her work as a home-life balance. She has three kids of her own and she teaches the in person students as well as the remote learning.

Ms Torres also said “On the weekends I take time for myself.”

Something simple like painting her nails in her free time helped.

You can see her “ Wacky Wednesday” outfit above. Her sense of humor helped her to bring joy and color into her classroom to make other people happy and joyous.

I don’t know how she does it. Imagine that you are living with little kids with a two part job of teaching the remote and in person students. You would be so stressed out!

Working during this pandemic hits the teachers hard, super hard for the elementary school. All I can say is congratulations. You all should be proud that you all succeeded together and you maintained that balance by working together as a team.