Classroom Champion: High school teacher said ‘we have to be flexible’ to meet kids where they are right now

High school teacher said ‘we have to be flexible’ to meet kids where they are right now

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - School is underway in Horry County and WMBF is highlighting local educators.

Classroom Champion Betsi Taylor is a freshman English teacher and head varsity cheer coach at Myrtle Beach High School. She was nominated for being such a positive role model in the community.

Taylor is in her eighth year at MBHS and said she is learning how to adapt to all the differences this school year brings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Really the name of the game for teachers is we have to be flexible. We’re just going to have to make sure we are meeting our kids where they are, whether they are at home or here in the classroom," explained Taylor.

Her main goal is to give her students and team the skills to succeed in the job field one day.

“If you don’t come to practice it’s like you aren’t showing up for your job, or if you don’t turn in your assignment then you didn’t get what your boss gave you and you’ll get fired. I’m trying to remind them I’m not trying to be harsh; I’m treating you like a boss will treat you,” Taylor said.

A concern many people have right now - including Taylor - is being fearful for their own health.

“I am, but I think we have to get back to normal at some point. The virus is everywhere and yes I’m scared, but at the same time, I’m not so scared that I refuse to go to work or refuse to be face-to-face with students. My biggest concern is the school sanitation,” she said.

With wearing face masks and keeping a social distance, Taylor fears how to create a bond with some of her students.

“I like to walk the classroom and float around. That’s the hardest thing for me and I can’t do that," she said. "I have to stay in my little bubble and I am worried most about reaching the kids in the back who don’t want to contribute. So yes I feel extra pressure.”

Typically in her classroom, Taylor said she could have as many students as 24 to 33.

“That was very difficult and my tables also have wheels, which is fantastic normally because they can move very easily, but in this pandemic situation all of those great tools that we’ve worked really hard for, I do feel like they’re working against us right now,” she said.

Being flexible and adapting to a new virtual environment is what Taylor is focusing on.

“The good thing about Myrtle Beach High School, we are very technology-driven and our district is too. So the kids all have their devices and we were already using Google classroom, so I won’t say it was seamless, but a smooth transition to turn something in online because we were already using so many digital platforms," Taylor said.

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