By Amber Hobaugh
On February 23, 2021, Governor Andy Beshear announced an executive order that all public school districts offer or expand in-person instruction beginning March 1.
In a letter released last week, Superintendent Pamela Stephens stated that the Adair County Board of Education along with the staff at Adair County schools are pleased to be welcoming students back to in-person instruction four days a week beginning March 22. This date corresponds with the beginning of the final grading period for the 2020-2021 school year.
In compliance with Governor Beshear’s executive order students, educators and staff will be required to wear face coverings while on school grounds and inside school district transportation at all times, subject to the exceptions listed in the face coverings order, Executive Order 2021-070, and any renewal orders.
“When you’re face to face with your students you’re able to bond with them more. It’s easier to help them celebrate their good days and help them through their bad days,” Adair County Middle School pre-algebra teacher Lauri Sapp said. “This past year, I’m lucky if I even get to see some of my students at all, even virtually. So I’m looking forward to it and I think it’s going to be great.”
“I love my students and miss those not at school,” said sixth grade science teacher Deb Waddell. “I actually enjoyed online instruction and creating fun curriculum for my students to focus on was a blast.”
Waddell said that she will take things that she has learned from teaching virtually over the past year and use them going forward with in-person instruction.
“I will definitely use Google Classroom so that students are aware of assignments and background information to help them in class. I also plan to continue making my own videos. Communication with guardians (throughout the pandemic) has been mostly positive and I plan on keeping and building on those connections going forward as well,” Waddell said.
Even with the new skills learned through adapting this past year, there has been a loss suffered to the fabric of the school community. “There are some of my students where if I were to run into them in public, I wouldn’t even know them. No teacher likes that. That’s not what we got into teaching for,” Sapp said.
Waddell went on to say that through this pandemic experience her bond with her fellow teachers has become stronger and that it’s not unusual for teachers to call upon one another for support and suggestions.
“It’s interesting the comments I get from students,” Waddell said. “ Some have already told me they wish it wasn’t changing because they like the smaller classes. Others have said they like learning better online and others say they’d rather have their work on paper,” Waddell said. “But whatever the case, we will make it work. I just want everyone safe and happy.”
Over the past year teachers and students have proven to be flexible and have found ways to make their education work for them and that flexibility will come in handy returning something a little closer to normal.