OMAHA, Neb. — Teachers are facing new stresses and challenges when it comes to the back to school process. The trial and error of a completely new model can take its toll. They say the key to staying creative and diligent is staying positive.
"It's been hard. Making sure you get lots of sleep and making sure that you check out has really been important," Paddock Road Elementary School first grade teacher Kerri Palmesano said.
The Westside Community School District has been using a hybrid model since beginning classes last week. It's a challenge teachers, like Palmesano, have had to accept and get creative with.
"It's kind of like your first year of teaching again," she said.
Palmesano says that there is inevitably some negativity surrounding the unknown, but that navigating everything is better when collaborating with other educators and when everyone stays positive.
Westside Superintendent Mike Lucas agrees and tweeted this out Wednesday:
It’s ok to be stressed, exhausted, and emotional...this is a tough time for everyone....we don’t have to be negative though....we can positively embrace the best we can do right now.....negativity never helps..... pic.twitter.com/wIqk9KvhDF— Mike Lucas (@Lucas4westside) August 26, 2020
"It is okay to have those feelings and to be frustrated and to vent but then make sure you kind of turn it around to some solution," Palmesano said.
Staying positive also helps the little ones, like Paddock Elementary first grader Jordyn Mclean, who is getting used to new normals like wearing a mask.
"It's kind of different because we can't see people smile," she said.
Even though smiles may be hidden behind the masks, they go a long way for students and especially for educators.