For the first time in weeks in person, learning is resuming in seven public health units with more asymptomatic testing and mandatory masks for students in grades. One to three students in five hot spot regions, including toronto, peel and york, will not be returning until at least february. The 10th, so how are teachers and students feeling as they head back to school for the first time this year, joining us now? Is karen spenton a grade one teacher with the limestone district school board in kingston, who is getting ready to see her students today in person karen good morning good morning? First of all, thank you for all the work that you’re doing, and i know that it has been very stressful for educators, doing sort of the back and forth the in person and then going to virtual and now going back. So i want to get an idea of how you’ve been feeling and how you’re doing going back to the classroom now. Well, it is exciting to be going back. Teaching teaching at home was difficult, and it was the first time that i had taught virtually in this format, with the live session so i’m, very looking forward to going back and seeing my students and getting back to regular routines and karen for grade one. No doubt i’ve been sitting in on jk sk classes, with my son for the last few weeks and it’s, a challenge for for both the educators as well as uh the students and the teachers.
So absolutely in person will help with that. There are going to be some changes, though, as you go back, are you ready for that? Had there been conversations with other educators on on you know the masking policies and and more of the distancing? What have you talked about, um, to be honest in in our uh board in limestone, the policies are remaining pretty much. The same we’ve had masking in place from grades one to three since september, so that is not new for the students we’ve asked for masking on the schoolyards. That is not different um. The only real protocol that will change uh for us and for me is that we are now required as staff to sign off on the daily screener that we have. We have to sign off that. We have completed the daily screener and we are very much told. Not to go to work if we have any symptoms at all other than that it’s pretty much the same protocols we’ve been used to what’s. It been like as an educator through all of this. You know trying to balance everything trying to keep up with the protocols and trying to keep everyone safe for you personally, it’s um, yeah it’s, a it’s, a roller coaster, ride, it’s, really it’s, really different, difficult and uh, and yet you know seeing the students at school Every day the learning is still happening, students are socializing, kids are amazing and resilient, and they are really adapting to that and i think, as an educator that’s.
What helps me, through the day, it’s stressful, to try to manage all of the safety protocols and try to keep all of those students safe and yourself, safe with that in your head all day, but but how they’re responding to it is really what kind of gets Moves the day along and uh makes you go back the next day, okay, and we are watching from one of the hot spots of course, toronto toronto peel york, hamilton, windsor, essex, not going back until at least february the 10th. What is your message for us in the hot spots right now, as you head back to the class? What do you want us to hear? Um i mean if you are still teaching, if you’re still teaching remotely stick with it. I guess do the best. You can focus on focus on connection focus on fun and, at the end of the day, remember that this is not normal. This is not um. This is not business as usual and yes, learning takes place, but students need to feel they need to feel connection. They need to feel cared about and that needs to be at the forefront whether you’re in the classroom or you’re online, so well said karen. Thank you so much for joining and good luck today. Thank you very much. Thank you. 808 she’s got her hands full with those grade.