Teachers see different hardships during COVID-19 Pandemic

A time that has presented many challenges with having to stop in-person learning, then having to move everything online, and then finding a balance of both, the COVID-19 pandemic has been physically and emotionally draining on educators. 

For Cami Ashley, a kindergarten teacher at Lakeshore Elementary, it has been personally difficult. “This pandemic has really weighed on me emotionally. It has been an extremely difficult year and has made me look into alternative careers. This is also true of a lot of my colleagues as well. I feel like I am constantly in the ‘fight or flight’ zone throughout the day. Our school is in person Monday through Friday full time, so there has been no down time for teachers to catch their breath,” she said. 

Kevin Barkholz, an English teacher and girls’ golf coach at Jackson High school, said, “The largest obstacle throughout this COVID era, has been the perceived isolation.

What top Michigan teachers say must happen for safe in-person classes

In January, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she wished to see Michigan K-12 schools return to in-person instruction by March 1. Several of the state’s best K-12 front-line instructors, designated as top teachers in various award competitions, say how they think that can happen safely. Some have already been teaching in person. Others are waiting to return. Janine Scott

Janine Scott, Davis Aerospace Technical High School, Detroit, Michigan, Region 10 Michigan Teacher of the Year 2020-2021, 11th grade math teacher

“So, I am teaching virtually now, no in-class, and the governor said that she would like for all schools to have something open for kids.

Award-winning teachers say what a longer post-COVID school year would need

Michigan Schools Superintendent Michael Rice has floated the idea that, to help students catch up on instruction lost during the COVOD-19 pandemic, the 2021-2022 school year be extended.

Here, award-winning teachers from throughout Michigan react to or propose ideas for that suggestion.

Let us play: High school athletes rally at the Capitol to restart sports seasons

Michigan high school athletes and supporters rallied at the Capitol Jan. 30, appealing to the governor to end the COVID postponement of sports

A young crowd, mostly masked, was peaceful, in contrast to recent rallies at this and other Capitols. The students said that sports keep them engaged in school, lift their mental health in dark times and help some of them get into college.

Several who attended said they would like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to acknowledge their #letusplay #letthemplay peaceful demonstration and their demand for a quick return to sports.