Marion County teachers head back to school

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 4:53 PM EDT
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MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s history in the making at schools across the nation, including here in north central Florida.

Monday was the official first day back for thousands of teachers and staff in the Marion County School District.

Teachers at Maplewood Elementary are preparing their classrooms for when students return to school, but this year’s preparations will be more than arranging books. Over the next three weeks they’ll learn about different COVID-19 protocols and how to successfully teach students virtually.

Welcome sign hangs outside for when students return.
Welcome sign hangs outside for when students return.(WCJB)

“We’re all new teachers this year. We’re all first year teachers in this new adventure that we have had to go into and we’re getting the proper training and we’re getting the proper collaboration with our peers to see how we’re doing with this new program,” Teacher Megan Fairchild said.

Teacher Megan Fairchild will be teaching both in-person and virtual lessons. She said there will be some changes, but hopes to get her students back into the routine of the classroom.

“We’re going to wear our masks if we can’t be six feet a part and hopefully just get them back into a great routine of learning,” Fairchild added.

Teacher Beau McClary is also teaching both in-person and virtual classes. When it comes to online learning, he said Microsoft Teams is his platform of choice.

“They did a lot of research and found that that was the most inclusive program that had a lot of features that we would like to use, it lets you video chat and it was the most inclusive format for us to use for online teaching,” McClary said.

Grace Garcia is a first year teacher and will be teaching in-person classes. She said the new challenges have not diminished her excitement to meet her new students.

“Every Admin and my peers have been very helpful in helping me navigate all of the trainings and all of the new areas and the curriculum. Honestly, I’m just ready for it, let’s bring it on, let’s start, let’s do this,” Garcia said.

The first day of school will be Monday, August 24th.

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