MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Both students and teachers at Mission CISD faced challenges on the first day of school but overcame them by the end of the day.
Yolanda Gonzalez, a teacher at Escobar/Rios Elementary School for the Mission CISD said she did not know what to expect amid the pandemic that caused a year of virtual learning.
“With every staff and as a parent, a challenge is just being nervous about the whole thing and not knowing what we’re going to come into.” Gonzalez goes on to say, “kids being so long away from school and you know a lot of them are nervous about just coming back not knowing what to expect. We want to make sure that they are okay, that’s our number one priority.”
Gonzalez said she will be overcoming challenges one step at a time starting with building back relationships.
“The first thing I did is talk to them about what did you do over the summer? Did you go anywhere,” said Gonzalez.
Principal Myra Garza of Escobar/Rios Elementary said they have programs in the school, as well as the district to help students.
“Programs such as Capturing Kids’ Hearts, which is Pre-K through 5th grade that really targets developing a culture on the campus where students feel they are active contributors,” said Garza.
One way the school wants to close the education gap is by having their teachers challenge their students’ reading abilities.
However, first-year teacher, Alexandra Corpus at Antonio Ochoa Elementary School in the Donna ISD said how she is already feeling the nerves ahead of their first day at school set for Aug. 23.
“My seats are in groups right now. I’m thinking about how I’m going to group them, how they’re going to work, what type of lessons I’m going to create in order for them to work together but socially distance,” said Corpus.
Corpus said although she is feeling nervous about her first year teaching amid the pandemic, decorating her classroom has helped relieve the stress.
“A lot of the labels around are bilingual as well, red in English would be in blue Spanish so they can distinguish between the two,” Corpus added she also created “a classroom library to make sure my books were at the level for them.”
Both teachers said they want to make this school year close to normal for all students.