Beyond Back to School: Bismarck teacher starts her career in the middle of a pandemic

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 3:29 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Imagine teaching in the middle of a pandemic, but being a first year teacher.

One first year teacher says she actually feels prepared for the year. She says she's fresh, she's familiar with technology and she's watched what other communities did in the spring.

“Definitely not how I imagined it starting,” said Lauren Johnson, a first year teacher at Bismarck’s Jeannette Myhre elementary.

Not even a global pandemic could dampen Johnson's enthusiasm about setting up her very first classroom.

“To finally be in here and think I’m going to have my class, these are my kiddos that I get to teach,” she said. “So, whatever the circumstances are I’m just over the moon that I have a group of kiddos I get to make a difference for.”

She already knows she will be juggling hybrid learning and flexible seating options for 18 second grade students at Jennette Myhre Elementary.

But says her teacher training last spring, when the pandemic hit, proved educators can continue to meet students' needs.

“To see the curriculum that they pulled together for nine weeks over the course of three days was absolutely inspiring and encouraging as a new teacher coming into the profession,” said Johnson.

She says any and all in-person instruction time will give her valuable insight into the way her students learn.

“We want to give them a normal experience but we don’t want to put them in danger,” she added.

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