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Wichita teachers prepare for first day of classes

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In only a matter of days, Washington Elementary School teacher, Hannah Evans-Mendoza will have her classroom filled with her fourth grade students. It will be her sixth year teaching but the first in more than a year after spending last school year working remotely.

“After last year of being the remote teacher it will be a nice breath of fresh air to see them sitting there in front of me in my actual classroom so I am excited,” she noted.

Evans-Mendoza notes the transition was a difficult one to online learning because of the difficulty in maintaining important relationships.

“It was tough, trying to figure out how to maintain those relationships via a screen. Connecting with parents was hard because maybe they have their hands full with one or multiple children at home,” she finished.

Now she will be back with her students full-time and in person, a sentiment Northwest High School teacher, Jennifer Pickler, can relate to. Entering her eleventh year in education, she says this year is about going back to square one.

“Getting back to the basics is one of the main things that our principal said on the first day, stick with what you know. Go back to the basics and keep focusing on making those connections with the kids,” Pickler explained.

With the uncertainty of starting a new semester, both teachers say they are looking forward to recreating valuable relationships with students but are also prepared if they needed to shift to online schooling again.

“Last year definitely prepared us for that, we do the best we can,” Pickler commented. “We give ourselves grace, we give the kids grace and we take it one day at a time. But at the same time always having that plan in the back of your mind,” she said.

Evans-Mendoza agreed with that sentiment crediting teachers for being planners and being able to adjust when needed.

“I know on my team we have a plan B for whatever it may be so there’s really nothing you can do but be prepared for the expected and the unexpected,” she finished.

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