Extra planning time a ‘huge asset’ to high school teachers
Lincoln High teacher: "The dual teaching between remote learning and in-person learning is like teaching two classes at once."
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Have you ever felt like you need to be in two places at once? Lincoln High School Spanish teacher Zach Mapes, known to his students as Señor Mapes, knows the feeling. With the challenge of teaching in-person and remote learners simultaneously, it’s a part of the job for teachers in 2020.
“The dual teaching between remote learning and in-person learning is like teaching two classes at once,” Mapes said. “Being able to divide attention is really taxing.”
Initially, the plan was for Lincoln Public Schools to begin full in-person learning for high school students in the second quarter of the school year. Due to the city’s COVID-19 guidelines, LPS will continue to operate under the current 3/2 plan for at least another quarter. Matt Larson, the superintendent of instruction for Lincoln Public Schools says that LPS is aware of the strain the 3/2 plan places on teachers and are making efforts to help out by giving teachers more planning time.
“We know that teaching in a hybrid environment is very challenging, and so we’ve done what we can to help support teachers,” Larson said. “The one thing when we met with a group of teachers that they requested more than anything was additional time to plan so that they could be as effective as possible in supporting students in the dual environments.”
Mapes believes that the extra planning time will be a big help for teachers.
“It’s going to be a huge asset to have an extra hour each week to grade, to plan, to come up with activities that will work both for online learners and in-person learners at the same time,” Mapes said.
Mapes says he and his colleagues feel like they are “first-year teachers all over again” given all of the adaptations they have had to make because of the pandemic. However, he feels that teachers are motivated to take on the challenge and do right by their students.
“The reason we all keep doing it is because we want students to get as quality of an education as we can provide,” Mapes said.