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Turtle Times: Teaching through a pandemic

  • Updated
Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke

Teachers spend time during the summer taking classes, researching new strategies and planning fun and engaging group activities to make learning fun.

In August, teachers return to their school buildings rested and ready to set up for a new group of students who will soon enter their classroom doors.

Those precious few days before students enter the building are spent bonding with coworkers over lunch, sharing stories of fun summer vacations and participating in team bonding activities.

This year was different.

As the world began to adjust to a new normal in a pandemic, teachers have been working hard to create new ways to teach their students, with safety as the highest priority.

Safety for staff and students has been a top priority in Dorchester District Two, meaning a switch from traditional face-to-face instruction to a combination of eLearning and hybrid instruction, or the new Virtual Academy.

Teachers all over the district have participated in live technology professional development opportunities to help us learn best practices for distance learning, and have learned about new tech tools to help us enhance our instruction to keep kids engaged no matter how we are teaching.

Writing the Turtle Times insert for the Summerville Journal Scene is the highlight for my students in their fifth-grade year.

I wondered how we were going to make it happen. Would it be possible to conduct interviews, take pictures, and work together, yet wear masks and stay socially distanced?

Thankfully, my enthusiastic group of students was not about to let a pandemic get in the way.

This group of young journalists eagerly worked together, while adhering to the new rules of health and safety.

I am proud of them and their achievements this year.

The pandemic has certainly changed the way teachers teach, and while there has definitely been a learning curve, teachers and students in Dorchester District Two have proven to be resilient in the midst of these uncertain times.