How Has Going Back to In-Person Learning Affected Teachers?


With this chaotic school year ending, what have things been like since the return to in-person learning? How have teachers and students adapted to this return and the back and forth changes this school year has presented. Teachers are continually pushing their students to do their best and being there for them. Now it is our turn to check in with them and see how they are doing. 

Michelle Baker, high school Global Perspectives and Journalism teacher at Imagine Prep gave a small view into how she has felt and how she is doing since the return to in-person learning.

Coming back to in-person school has impacted me personally by adding an extra class to my schedule. With our remote students still learning at home, and three or four sections of in-person learners, every teacher had an extra class added into their daily schedule,” Baker said. “It has also impacted me personally by getting to build more relationships with students whether they are online or in-person because now my Global class meets four times a week, while before we only met twice a week.”

Going back has been a struggle for all of us and it hasn’t been any easier for teachers. Teachers had an extra class added and some of them are taken out of their normal classroom setting and put in a different room or sometimes the cafeteria. This can be a stressful situation for the teachers and the students trying to adjust to new changes. 

School has always implemented different levels of stress on all students, especially with being online for most of the school year, social interactions with friends and family have been very scarce this whole year. Sometimes this can implement more stress or anxiety on students because they may look to their friends or family to “escape” from a stressful school day. Have teachers noticed any of these changes in mood or behavior with their students?  

Baker saw a definite change with her students having a sense of normalcy and routine like before the pandemic. 

“I definitely see kids that are happy to be back at school and going through a routine that is more familiar to them than doing everything online,” Baker said. “There will always be days when some kids don’t want to be here, but for the most part, I really think my students who chose to return to in-person learning are happy to be back.”

Baker’s classroom is set up to have desks socially distanced.

People will always have good or bad days and going back to school is just the beginning of getting back to our “old lives” pre-pandemic. 

Especially going back in person, every day is a new and different day (a little more exciting than staying home and being able to do class from your bed). With new adventures occurring each day, Baker shared what she looks forward to most each morning when coming to the building. 

“I really look forward to the interactions I have throughout my day,” Baker said. “Whether it is with my online learners, my in-person learners, or my colleagues, I never know what each day might bring. It really is exciting, and at times nerve-wracking to be back in the building. There are good days and bad days, especially when technology fails me, but all-in-all, I am happy to be back.”

Social interaction is something that was so abruptly taken from us and is something that all of us as humans need. Some less than others but social interaction is always healthy. 

Since social interaction drastically affects our mental health it was important to truly understand how mental health affects us so much when coming to social interactions. To get a good understanding of things, Imagine Prep Counselor, Amy Boven shared the reason she thinks students have drastically changed their happiness levels by going back.

“Having their peer and social interaction has been very positive for a lot of students,” Boven said. “I also recognize some students have really thrived from working from home and doing school in their own space too. But I think for those students who opted to come back they have been really happy to be back, here at school with their friends.” 

Students who have gone back to in-person school have mostly thrived, it was explained that this is caused by social interactions. But is there anything else that is providing this positive impact on students? Could their teachers be providing some of that positive impact?

“I think the face-to-face teacher environment is just what everyone is comfortable with and used to, virtual school has been an option for a long time but it was not something that was ever a mandated thing, and I think students were happy to get back to the more traditional classroom setting,” Boven said.

With more technical information behind the student’s serotonin levels going up, it was now time to talk about how going back in person has impacted Boven, as a teacher and personally. 

 “It’s really nice,” she exclaimed. “I worked out of the school even when the school was closed and doing virtual learning, I was still on campus and it was just weirdly quiet when there’s not other people on campus in a school which is usually very loud. It was really nice being back in the building with some of my coworkers and some of my friends that I work with.” 

Overall, it seems that every teacher has really enjoyed going back to school and being able to teach their students in person. There has been a big change within students that more than one teacher has noticed. 

In-person school was not always guaranteed this school year, and the year 2020-2021 will always be remembered for every Imagine Prep student and teacher. Throughout this crazy year, teachers have done their best to accommodate their students in order to make virtual teaching the best they could. I think we all should give a big thanks to our teachers and pat ourselves on the backs as students because we have all persevered through this school year. I don’t think any one of us would have imagined a situation like this to happen to us and yet we all managed to come out on top.