COVID-19’s Effect on New Teachers

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Graham Hagigh, Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has been unfamiliar territory for everyone. It has been a challenge growing accustomed to it in all areas of life, especially those who have made big changes in their lives. I recently conducted an interview with Ms. Arndt, a new Spalding business teacher, the girls’ JV lacrosse coach and a Spalding alumna! She is a first-year teacher, and I am fortunate to have her as my marketing teacher this semester. 

 

As a new teacher, is this what you expected this year’s teaching would look like?

Just like everything that has happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, the format of this year was unexpected. Ms. Arndt says, “I expected this year to be different just given the nature of everything. But I think for me personally, the hybrid teaching style was definitely an adjustment. Finding new and creative ways to teach virtually was really hard. Also, I was really looking forward to the comradery with the students and unfortunately that is much more difficult when the students are virtual”.

What have some of the positives for teaching been from this year so far? 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of negatives and misfortune, Ms. Arndt continues to take the positives from it. She says, “For me personally, there are a ton of positives for this year! … I think every teacher can attest that we learned how to adapt, how to be patient and how to adjust on the fly, which are key skills especially in teaching. Having faith this year has gone a long way and I feel like this year has prepared me for hard things that I might see in the future”.

What are some of the benefits from teaching to a class that is part virtual and part in-person?

“The hybrid teaching model is different but I do think that there have been some benefits. It has made it so that teachers have to really get to know their students through creative ways that they might not have had to do before”. Ms. Arndt not only sees the benefits from this year for teachers, but also for the students. She says, “It has also put a lot of the responsibility on the students, which I think is a good thing sometimes. Once they graduate high school and become a college student it is really up to the student to take their learning to the next level so they are getting a little taste of that this year”. 

 

This school year has been very different and difficult for everyone, but Ms. Arndt’s approach to teaching revives the sense of normalcy that we experienced pre-COVID. Whenever I enter her class, I expect and experience the teacher-student comradery.