Coeur d’Alene teachers value consistency over normalcy as students return to full-time in-person learning

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — Coeur d’Alene students are back from their Spring Break and going to class five-days-a-week starting Monday.

That means the one day of virtual learning on Wednesdays is no more.

The decision to move from four to five days was officially made in February and since then, COVID cases have continue to dramatically decrease, according to the district website.

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Coeur d’Alene High School math teacher Adam Hanan says just going to four-days-a-week again a few months ago brought students back to a somewhat normal routine.

While things will be more consistent in the classroom, he’s concerned about the adjustment for students who have found their stride with virtual learning or may have had other responsibilities outside of school during the pandemic.

“Some students have enjoyed that Wednesday of, it’s kind of in the middle of the week, it’s a chance to stop and catch your breath and kind of go at your own pace,” said Hanan. “And other students are figuring out how they’re going to rearrange work schedules and things like that that they’ve kind of been relying on for this last six or seven months, especially.”

As a teacher, Hanan is looking forward to spending more time in the classroom with his students and believes there’s a special value to in-person learning.

Hayden Meadows Elementary teacher Priscilla Walsh echoes the same belief.

She says a return to five days will actually give her students more time to dive into each subject and a chance to do in-class projects that take more time.

During this transition, Walsh also says she’ll continue to make sure students are feeling comfortable physically, emotionally and academically.

“I think that’s the role of teachers is to make sure that we’re meeting all students’ needs,” she said. “So as we move into five days and we get that gift of more time together and that gift of learning, we’re also going to continue to fill those anxieties for not only for families, but children as well.”

It’s safe to say all teachers are glad to have students back in class full-time, but students shouldn’t expect a complete return to normalcy.

COVID guidelines will still be in effect and students will be required to social distance where they can.

Walsh also mentioned she admired students’ resiliency during the phase changes this school year.

Both Walsh and Hanan say they are valuing consistency over normalcy as they go back to five days of in-person learning and hopefully start the next school year off that way too.

READ: Idaho lawmakers introduce bill to fund all-day kindergarten

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