NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s been a test with no obvious answers, though they’ve studied, solving the equation has proved the ultimate challenge.
“What teachers have learned is going to serve them well, in the classroom,” says Dr. Donna Wright, Wilson County Schools Director.
COVID-19 has brought every hardship, every disruption. In Wilson County, the March tornado came first, the pandemic added insult to injury, multiple choices presenting multiple problems.
Wright credits teachers for overcoming the hardest moments when students and staff have been separated. “I marvel at their creativity, I marvel at their energy,” she says. “It’s all incumbent upon keeping a teacher in front of our students in a classroom.”
Keeping teachers healthy and supported, Wright believes, has been key to student improvement, in spite of online barriers. She admits the burden, to fully return to the classroom. Yet staying adaptable and flexible, there-in lies the instruction to success.
“We’re trying to keep everyone safe, we’re trying to keep everyone secure,” Wright said. “If we can’t be in the classroom we’re trying to give you every opportunity to make sure that not only your child, but your family becomes a participant for what we’re trying to provide at the district level.”
A more typical learning environment, what everyone wants, is certainly the goal. As is a return to the old normal, or at least some version of it.
“Our goal from the very beginning is to be on campus if we can safely do it,” said Williamson County Superintendent, Jason Golden.
As of mid-January, Williamson County has no green light on that. Remote learning must stay on the syllabus, so to speak. The Covid vaccine could provide a way back, once educators are eligible.
“It will help our teachers and our staff from a health perspective, and that’s a big, big deal,” said Golden.
But Golden knows there will still be virus cases among students. Even as kids expect to schedule classes for August as soon as March, clarity likely won’t be there. But the drive will. The drive to educate and make up for learning loss moves forward, because it must.
“We’re working really hard to give students those experiences but it’s been different,” said Golden. “It takes a daily effort to find ways to maximize their participation.”