From Houston Public Media:
This week marks back-to-school for nearly half a million children in Greater Houston, including the Cy Fair, Klein and Houston school districts. It’s also a big first day for brand new teachers, even if their classroom is online. In the Houston Independent School District alone, just over 1,100 educators will start their profession during the pandemic.
Houston Public Media talked with several first-year teachers, including Donald Peacock, an eighth-grade teacher at Yes Prep in Houston’s Fifth Ward. HPM asked Peacock about what drew him to the profession, what concerns him about teaching during the pandemic and what he’s looking forward to the most.
Peacock’s story below, and highlights in the audio player above, have been edited for length and clarity. Listen to and read more stories about first-year teachers in Houston here.
I grew up in Acres Homes, so, like, the north side of Houston. I feel prepared, but 2020 keeps making me second guess myself because I can’t really test a lot of the teacher skills that I’m learning because when you’re on a video call and you don’t see the kid’s face, I don’t even know if they got the material.
I don’t really want to penalize or reprimand them for something that’s kind of out of their control. I don’t want to force them to be motivated about school when maybe they’re facing an eviction the next week. It’s very hard trying to take these valuable teacher skills, but use them during a pandemic.
I’m excited to meet my kids. I only met, like, half of them because we do an A and a B day. I met A-day kids, so now I’m going to be meeting B-day kids. Even though only two or three had their cameras on, they were very excited to see me. I love that good energy.