Teacher’s Preparation

Planning as a teacher takes more work than students may think.


Photo by Jack Vokt

Mrs. Wagner working after school hours.

By Jack Vokt, Reporter

In the age of COVID-19, teachers have planned and prepared as well as they could for the school year. From online learners to the quarantined and teachers themselves ending up at home, planning got just a little bit harder. Luckily for Elkhorn North High School, the staff is great at understanding the times and adjusting to plans. 

Planning ahead for Math, English, Science, and Social Studies, depends on the chapters or units being taught at that moment, and the students in the class. Mr. Dunn, a Social Studies teacher, planned to start with a unit or chapter, but with the Coronavirus, it was lengthened to one week. “We try to say a week at a time which has been more helpful” Dunn said. 

On the other hand, Mrs. Wagner, an English teacher, likes to prepare even more in advance due to her experience in the district and classes she teaches. Mrs. Wagner is a far-out planner having the second semester already planned for her freshmen since she has taught it for four years. 

Another way that can cause a change in plans is making sure the students understand content. “If the class just doesn’t get it and feel they didn’t get it that day, you have to think ‘how can I reteach this?’” Dunn said. Amongst all the main subjects, the theme of making sure students understood the content was very common. 

These plans have to be very flexible due to COVID-19. When it comes to Chemistry, it can be difficult to plan, especially with the chance of having to quarantine as a teacher. “If I have to end up teaching from home, then we won’t be able to do all the labs,” Mrs. Armbrust, a Chemistry teacher, said. 

Along with the possibility of quarantine as teachers, teachers themselves have to make plans according to online students. “You always have to think about how you can make everything digitally,” Mrs. Wagner said. 

Mrs. Kasner, a Math teacher, also described the planning this year differently overall. “I love to do lots of group work and activities. I’m unable to do that due to COVID. I also like lots of movement in my classroom, which I’m unable to do as well,” Kasner said. Having the group activities added more energy to a class rather than having to stay six feet apart as much as possible. 

Mr. Dunn preparing for the day ahead. (Photo by Jack Vokt)

Teaching outside of school hours is common when it comes to planning. Between Mrs. Kasner, Mrs. Wagner, Mrs. Armbrust, and Mr. Dunn, they all said they spend some time outside of school working. Whether it is grading or readjusting plans, teachers put in that extra time to make it so their students fully understand the content. Planning outside of school can look very different for each teacher. Mr. Dunn spends around four to five hours on Sunday alone and forty-five minutes to an hour daily, while Mrs. Wagner tries to keep it even for two hours a day. Either way, both teachers create plans that will help their students. 

Teachers put in more work than what is needed to make sure they are prepared well to teach their students and are ready to still teach no matter the challenge.