The pandemic changed the way teachers do their jobs and after a year and a half of asking ‘when will things go back to normal,’ teachers are sharing their feelings about returning to the classroom.
“Online teaching, I felt, was a little easier to manage. I wouldn’t have to worry about a commute, I could do most of the work and film lectures during her (baby’s) naptime,” former BYU English professor Allison Boyer said.
Boyer realized that online teaching helped balance her priorities. When the opportunity to return in person came, she declined.
“I thought about it but, decided that for my own sanity I was going to stay home and focus on raising her. I would have no problem, once things settled down a little bit, coming back to teach,” Boyer said as her young daughter let out a small squeal. “She disagrees with this plan. I would have no problem coming back to teach. I enjoyed my time teaching here at BYU.”
While many teachers looked forward to coming back, some needed to make adjustments such as wearing pants.
“This has been emotionally exhausting in ways that I hadn’t anticipated. Things like just making sure I look put together from head to toe, you know, versus teaching online where I could just put on a blouse and then pajama pants and I’m presentable and ready to teach,” BYU writing professor Madeleine Dresden said.
As teachers and students transition back to the way things were before the pandemic, many find that normal isn’t normal anymore. For some, COVID-19 actually helped them find better ways to teach, to learn and to live.