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LCS teachers, board members discuss solutions and concerns ahead of next 9-weeks

Posted at 5:15 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 17:15:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Superintendent Rocky Hanna met with several Leon County teachers Wednesday to identify common concerns as the district prepares for its second nine weeks.

Twelve of Leon County's top teachers met with board members to identify challenges, solutions, and celebrations.

Among those celebrations is an increased amount of networking between teachers working to optimize learning under the unusual circumstances brought on by COVID-19.

"A lot of teachers are teaching other teachers because they're more adept and have more technological skills and are working with other teachers," said Hanna. "Mainly, it's the younger teachers working with the older teachers to help get them some of those tricks."

Tips and tricks they hope will help offset some of the high anxiety brought on by having to navigate two separate systems to complete basic classroom tasks.

Leon Classroom Teacher's Association president Scott Mazur says that challenge, combined with teaching on different platforms for in-person and digital students, leaves teachers asking, most importantly, for more time.

"Time being the most because that time is about preparation," Mazur said. "It's about responding to students, about answering questions that come from parents and students, but it's also the time that you need to be able to carve out for your own health, your mental and emotional and physical as well because you can't take care of the students in the classroom if you can't have the time to take care of yourself."

Teachers also expressed safety concerns when transitioning more students to in-person learning at the start of the new nine weeks.

"They wanted me to reassure them that we were not going to relax any of our safety protocols and procedures that we have from the beginning of the year, which I assured them we were not," said Hanna. "You know, even if the county drops their mask mandate, Leon County schools will continue to enforce the mask mandate until this is over."

Hanna and Mazur are now working to turn the findings from Wednesday's meeting with teachers into an action plan they'll solidify during a closed-door meeting Friday.

Teachers and board members also addressed concerns regarding standardized testing and pacing guides.