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TUSD teachers prepare for in-person learning

TUSD teachers prepare for in-person learning
Posted at 5:27 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 01:34:56-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Unified School District is on Spring break and will return to the classroom starting Monday. So how are teachers preparing for the change?

Wes Oswald, a third grade teacher within TUSD says going back to the classroom is doable, but won’t come without its challenges.

“Can you imagine a class full of eight-year-olds and I can’t walk around because I am also stuck in front of a computer...monitoring student work, who are also at home,” he told KGUN9 during last week’s Motor March.

He says one of his main concerns is having to juggle his attention from his students in class to his students on Zoom.

“It’s going to result in less than ideal instruction because classroom learning should be dynamic. It should be interesting. It should be fun and engaging and everybody sitting behind a computer doesn’t help that,” he added.

Though Oswald says, he got to work as soon as he was told about the change.

“I had to give my students independent work for the next couple days so that I could prepare my classroom,” he told KGUN9.

Oswald says he’ll be prepping for students to come back as much as he can. Which includes making sure desks are a safe distance, getting lesson plans ready, and putting up plexi-glass barriers.

“Schools are barely ready for it. We’re going to be ready for it,” he added.

At this point, TUSD families can choose online or in-person learning.

“It sounds like many families, if not most families, are...are choosing to stay online,” said Oswald.

A press briefing by Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo last week showed half of all students will stay home, and about 42% had chosen in-person or hybrid learning.

8% of families had not made a choice. Those students will default to remote learning.

TUSD announced, more than a month ago, that they'd return to the classroom following Spring break.

Governor Doug Ducey's order to return to the classroom, did not factor into that decision.