For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been bringing you updates about districts’ plans for reintegrating students and teachers back into the classroom for the upcoming school year. We spoke to superintendents and parents about their thoughts and plans.
Tuesday, we reached out to a group of people who will be impacted even more directly: teachers. Below, we share their thoughts in tonight’s top story.
“There’s not going to be a perfect answer for anything and teachers are going to do their very best with whatever situation we have,” said James Owens, eighth-grade science teacher at Erik Ramstad Middle School.
Owens says he learned new ways to teach students science through distance learning.
And world geography teacher Kristi Reinke says she also got creative last semester.
“I had a green screen in my classroom, so I brought that home, set it up in my basement and my daughter who’s 10 we had a fun time, we pretended like we were Carmen Sandiego and we set up the green screen to do all these ‘where in the world is Mrs. Reinke videos,'” Reinke said.
Reinke teaches at Jim Hill Middle School, which operated over capacity in 2019, and is expected to again this fall.
She says she’s concerned about safety and social distancing.
“We’re constantly teaching the kids these social-emotional skills and how to wear a mask, that’s not what that I thought I’d ever have to teach students to do,” Reinke said.
Owens says the upcoming school year will be a good opportunity to find new procedures for running a socially-distanced science lab.
He and Reinke say they’re both looking forward to seeing the plan MPS comes up with.
“It feels like I haven’t seen my kids in six months. So, really I just want to teach kids again. And whatever that may look like, I’m ready for it. We’ll meet that challenge head-on and I know every other teacher is the same way. We’re just excited to get back,” Owens said.
“I want to be with my students and I want to see them in person, but I also want to be safe. I want to be safe for my family, I want my students to be safe,” Reinke said.
Minot Public Schools is hoping to have a plan to present at the beginning of August.