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Teachers share their thoughts as the school year begins across San Diego County

Virtual or not, these teachers say they will continue doing the best they can, under whatever circumstances come their way.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif — As schools face the start of the new year with online instruction, we wanted to hear from teachers about their thoughts on everything from distance learning to returning to the classroom.

For high school teacher Jessica Davis, 4th-grade teacher Courtney Green, fifth-grade teacher Kristina Quartuccio, and kindergarten teacher Corinna Kitchen, the past several months haven't been easy. 

Jessica said, "I really thought it would be a much smoother transition than it was."

Courtney said, "It was heartbreaking not seeing my students."

For starters, they miss their students.

Throw in virtual teaching, and they've run into issues, everything from students having trouble connecting to the internet, to others who wouldn't show up, and distractions at home.

Jessica said, "They knew that their grade couldn't be affected, so they just weren't participating.  So, it was very demoralizing for me as a teacher as well."

Courtney said, "It was a challenge for me working from home because I have two children under 5."

Due to the ongoing pandemic, all four will begin the new school year teaching online.

But if given the chance right now, how would they feel about going back inside a classroom?

Jessica, who teaches at Sweetwater High School, isn't comfortable just yet.

“I just don't think given the number of cases that we're seeing on a daily basis that we can adequately protect not just the teaching staff, but even more importantly students," Jessica said. "I think more than anything, an adequate vaccine is key."

Courtney, a teacher at Kellogg Elementary in Chula Vista feels the same.

"For me to feel safe, I would need to see a significant decline in cases," Courtney said.

Meanwhile, both Corinna who teaches at Willow Grove Elementary in Poway and Kristina, a teacher at La Jolla Elementary, say they're ready to head back. 

"I think what my elementary school and what other elementary schools are putting into place, I'm comfortable with what they're doing," Corinna said.

"We have the guidelines," Kristina agreed, It's just about implementing them in order to get the kids back to where they need to be.

At the very least, they'd like families and teachers to have the option.

Kristina said, “We're not talking about going back to the way it used to be. I am totally referring to safety protocols in place. I'm not fearful at all."

Virtual or not, these teachers say they will continue doing the best they can, under whatever circumstances come their way.

Jessica said, "The teachers want to be in the classroom and we're trying our best to make sure students learn in this unprecedented experience that we're all having to navigate together."

You can watch the complete Learning Curve special below:

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