COVID-19 causing more stress for teachers in Kanawha County

Local News

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – With many West Virginia students either back in the classroom, teachers are feeling stressed over everything they’re required to do to keep students safe from COVID-19 and still teach.

Some teachers say it’s difficult to keep up with switching schedules and plans.

“This year I found myself doing so much more than in a normal year,” Katrina Minney, Sissionville High School Teacher.

Minney is just one of the many teachers feeling the impact of COVID-19.

“There’s a lot of us who feel very nervous because we can’t socially distance like we would like to and having students even three feet apart seems really close when you have a room full of them,” Minney said.

Teachers say since the school board decided to re-open schools five days a week in the Kanawha school district, many have been struggling to manage their workloads.

“So you’re a classroom teacher part of the day and you’re an e-learning teacher when you don’t know until six o’clock at night on Saturday whether your plans for the week are going to be changed. That’s a difficult thing to get into a routine for,” Jerry Throckmorton, Sissonville High School Teacher said.

In addition to lesson planning, teaching and e-learning, teachers also have to make sure students are following the rules to have a safe environment.

“We also have to monitor the halls. We have to monitor our students constantly wearing masks and social distancing. We have to make sure everything is disinfected in classrooms in between classes and so we have taken on a lot of job titles we certainly didn’t sign up for,” Minney said.

Minney says she also wants to know why the schools are putting students and teachers at risk.

“I would like to know what makes our lives any less valuable to place us in a classroom where we’re here eight hours a day, packed with kids. What makes us any less valuable? I feel almost like we’re expendable.”

The Kanawha County School Board has an in-person meeting scheduled for Thursday. Teachers plan to show up to voice their concerns about students being back in school.

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