‘We’re going to find a way and figure it out’: YXE Underground on how teachers are handling the pandemic

Mindy Macdonald admits to feeling a little nervous last September when school was about to begin.

Macdonald teaches kindergarten at Prince Philip School, and knew her classroom would look a little different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why she collaborated with a colleague to design her classroom from a teacher and student perspective.

“We walked through the classroom through the lens of the teacher and then we walked through the classroom through the lens of a child,” she explained to YXE Underground’s Eric Anderson. “How are they going to see this? How are they going to handle all of these variables? Until we role-played, I was like, ‘I can’t do this.’ The more days that passed, however, it began to feel normal.”

Re-organizing her classroom was one of the many challenges Macdonald has faced during the school year. She’s grateful to have 27 cooperative students and says having the right attitude goes a long way to success.

“Coronavirus tells us no, but we’re going to do it anyway. We’re going to find a way and just figure it out.”

An example of this would be students having their own individual bags of sand and playdough instead of playing together.

“Normally in a kindergarten classroom that I run, everything is communal. Everything is shared. So it’s been hard this year but we do the best that we can,” she explained.

Macdonald is hopeful that life in her classroom will return to normal next year, but teaching during a pandemic has in no way diminished her love of the profession.

“I became a teacher because I love kids. I love watching these little lightbulb moments. I love watching the growth from September to June. I know teaching kindergarten is not for everyone but I love it.”

To listen to this episode of YXE Underground with Eric Anderson, head to www.yxeunderground.com