DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - It is less than a week before the start of the school year, but some teachers say they’ve been preparing for months.
Summerville High School English Teacher Jennifer Plane, says she’s spent countless hours and restless night preparing for this school year. However, she says the most eerie part was walking into the building and seeing March’s lesson plans still on the board.
Plane has been a teacher for 27 years and says she’s never spent this much time preparing over the summer as she has this year. She says she and other teachers have used every outlet, from YouTube, to Google, to each other, to try to make sure they have the best learning environment possible before they take attendance on the first day.
“I’ve been calling them, and they show up on my Teams screen. And I sit there and I go let me try this, let me try that. How does this look? Do I sound OK? Now I’m going to go over to the monitor. Do I need to put my camera to the side?” Plane said. “So, we’ve been trying it out with each other.”
Teachers say they are spending more time this year finding new technology, like headsets, apps, and cameras for their computers, than they are on the normal wall decorations for their classrooms.
“We’re all lifelong learners, and this is just part of the way that we teach. And what better way to teach than by example. So we’ve done a lot of professional development,” Plane said. “We are really making sure we are ready for those kids and their parents and questions and you know we’re making sure everything will stream at one time. We’ve never tried this before with our infrastructure.”
This year, Plane says there will be more videos embedded in lessons to keep children interested, and they are trying to keep the curriculum the same as every other year as much as they can.
Dorchester District 2 says all schools will be starting virtually for at least the first two weeks, and teachers are trying to make their plans as similar as possible for at least the start of the school year.