Teachers celebrate appreciation week during unique year

Teachers celebrate appreciation week during unique year

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - It is Teacher Appreciation Week and our educators certainly have a lot on their plates this year thanks to the coronavirus.

Eisenhower Elementary School teacher Stephanie Overby says before the coronavirus, she had gotten into a routine and was excited to finish her very first year as a teacher.

"I was in my groove and everything was going well, lesson plans, my curriculum. I have all of that down pat and then all of the sudden it’s now we’re not coming back, you’re going to have to do this online,” Overby said.

Overby said one of the most difficult changes for her was something many other teachers are also dealing with - balancing teaching her class of kindergarteners and being a mom of four.

"We’ve had to home school them as well so it’s been kind of different because now I have to try to find different activities for them to supplement what their teachers are giving them,” Overby said.

The transition hasn’t been as difficult for every teacher. MacArthur Middle School teacher Daniel Billings said his background in technology made the shift to online easier. Plus, he said in his short three-year career, he’s already had plenty of weird experiences.

"I had to really weigh whether this was my first or second weirdest year. I actually started in February of 2018 and you may recall after spring break of 2018 we had the walkout. In comparison, this maybe gets a little bit weirder. It’s definitely something I had to get really used to,” Billings said.

Regardless of how long they’ve been teaching, hundreds of educators across southwest Oklahoma are doing what they can to make the most of a unique situation. And they’re learning how to make the classroom better once we return.

“Going forward, I’m going to make sure that even if we are in the classroom, I have a Google classroom set up so I can interact with the children,” Overby said.

”One thing that I definitely take away from this is how much kids really do appreciate being the classroom with you. I’ve had so many kids tell me how much they miss being in school, how much they thought they would really, really like having a long spring break. That didn’t happen and they’d rather just be in school with friends, be with their teachers,” Billings said.

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