Courtesy Matthew Chaffee
What is something you’re grateful for as a teacher during this time?
I’ve been super grateful for the messages that I’ve been receiving from kids about how appreciative they are of my teaching style and my relationships with them. Obviously, spending lots of time with my family has its benefits and its drawbacks. I’ve been grateful that with my work, I pretty much just have to check in every once in a while to see if I’m getting emails from people to respond to them, so I’ve been able to help my daughters a lot with their schoolwork.
What has been the biggest challenge as a teacher during COVID-19 to keep students engaged?
I think for a lot of kids with pre-existing anxiety or depression, a time like this has the potential to exponentiate their mental health dealings. Also, missing the human interaction of actually going into a classroom to interact with other people has been hard, and the work can get monotonous.
What is an activity you’ve been doing in your free time (any new hobbies)?
In the beginning, we were pretty good about rallying everybody to go for a bike ride or for a walk, but that only lasted like a week or two. I’m lucky that we’re really close with two of our neighbors, so we’ll all pull a table outside of our garage and have dinner together sometimes. I think that’s kept a lot of us from going slightly insane. Some communities are definitely coming together more than maybe they would have in the past. Even though everyone has to be physically distanced, people are making a point to say hello and be a little bit more friendly.