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Staunton City School teachers discuss pandemic teaching during Teacher Appreciation Week

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 12:32 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - The pandemic has had a huge impact on education from kindergarten to college and everything in between.

“I can remember the kids looking at me and being like, ‘Ms. Davis, what’s going on?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know,’” explained Staunton High School science teacher Heather Davis.

Davis said her experience the past year has changed what it means to be a teacher.

“The content is the same. What’s missing was the interaction between the teacher and the student and the teacher holding them accountable, and me being able to look in their faces to see their understanding, or the lack of understanding, either one,” Davis explained.

For Vanessa Smith’s kindergarten class, some of their first memories of school have taken place from behind a computer screen.

“I would have never had thought [I would have experienced] something like this. I have never taught an entire school year without any children in my room,” Smith explained.

For Smith, even with 25 years of teaching, Zoom class took some getting used to.

“I am 100 percent more comfortable with all of it now. More comfortable than I ever thought I would be,” Smith said.

After nearly a year into the pandemic, students are starting to return to the classroom. Even for those who remained virtual, like Smith’s class, teachers have continued to find ways to connect with students.

“Being a teacher just means caring about children and loving children and doing all you can to help them. Which we just had to find a different way to do that,” Smith said.

Read more about Staunton City Schools by clicking here.

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