Teachers share their thoughts on school reopening plans

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — East Tennessee school districts have begun releasing reopening plans for the upcoming school year. Now teachers are sharing their thoughts about going back to school.

Anderson County special education teacher Carrie Stewart, she says she feels mostly excited, but she realizes there will be some challenges.

“I’m used to being very hands-on with my kids, whether that’s high fives or just an encouraging hug. But I also foster a lot of collaboration in my classroom and that’s something that we are discouraged to do just to maintain social distancing. and so that’s something that’s going to be a big change,” Stewart said.

She says she hasn’t seen her students since March and is looking forward to reuniting with them. Teachers in other counties are sharing in the excitement, but are more worried about how the plan will unfold once everyone is in the building.

Rebecca Dickenson is an elementary school librarian in Blount County. She says she sees about 500 students per week. She says her biggest worry is the number of students she sees every week and how she will keep everything in the library sanitized.

“We want to be back with our kids, we want to teach, but it’s just not knowing exactly what everything’s gonna be like and knowing it’s probably gonna change,” Dickenson said.

She says she will be wearing a mask and maybe even gloves to handle books. She will also be changing the book checkout process in an effort to sanitize books after each checkout.

Dickenson adds that she thinks the district is doing the best they can with the parameters they were given from the state.

For these teachers, many things will change, from they way they interact with students to how they teach, and how they interact with other teachers, but they say they are going into this year with intentions of making the most of the situation.

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