Local teachers pack up classrooms, reflect on school year

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - COVID-19 has taken a toll on students, teachers and even parents. Now that the school year has officially come to an end, teachers at one elementary school in Pineville just wish they could hug their students goodbye.

Source: KALB

“Nobody can ever prepare you for this, they don’t teach you this in college," said Lessie Moore Elementary Third Grade Teacher Shelli McKay.

For third grade teachers at Lessie Moore, COVID-19 meant they weren't able to finish out the school year in person with their students.

“It takes the whole year before those 'aha' light bulbs really come on with the students," said Lessie Moore Elementary Third Grade Teacher Jennifer Pastor. "So getting to the end of the year is critical and it’s important for students to see how much they did learn."

Students' last day in the classroom was Friday, March 13. Overnight, teachers had to start online learning, which came with its own fair share of challenges.

“We have parents who don’t have the technology, they don’t have the internet access at home, you’re dealing with a lot of sing families and some were working, some were not," said Pastor.

Fast forward to Thursday, the last day for teachers to be in their classrooms and reflect on the school year.

“It was impossible to meet everybody’s needs although you really wanted to. It was just a very disheartening feeling closing up the year," said Pastor.

English and Social Studies teacher McKay says this year has been a tough one.

“We asked ourselves are we doing enough all the time and we second guess ourselves but during I’ve learned like you are doing the very best you can," said McKay.

She says the hardest part is not being able to see her students.

“Before they leave my classroom every day, I always tell them I’ll see you tomorrow, I love you, have a good evening. You know, knowing that I didn’t get that again this year it just, it was heartbreaking," said McKay.

Math and Science teacher Pastor just wishes she could tell her students goodbye and give them one last hug.

“We didn’t get those final hugs. When we told them bye, there were some hugs, but not the same kind of hug as a goodbye, I’ll miss you kind of hug," said Pastor.

Both teachers are looking forward to putting this pandemic behind them, and have a very important message for their third graders.

“I love you all and I miss you all so much and I can’t wait for us to be together again," said McKay.

There's no official word yet on if students will be back in the classroom come August.

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