Excellent Educators: Experienced 3rd grade teacher learns how to adapt to teaching in the pandemic

Excellent Educators

CHESAPEAKE (WAVY) – When Rebecca Karch began teaching, Ronald Reagan was president.
Cell phones were about the size of a briefcase. Back to the Future was at the movies.

Fast forward 35 years later.

“I’m vintage,” Karch says.

Karch had to get her third-graders at George Washington Carver Intermediate excited about school. In a video from one of her science classes, a student holds a container with soil in it and points out to her how some animals live underground.

It’s that kind of excitement Karch is trying to achieve, even when she can’t it in their faces.

“My kids have made great progress this year but I push them hard,” Karch said. “That was probably the biggest challenge this year was knowing how hard you could push somebody behind a mask. Their body language tells you a lot.”

The pandemic meant a new way of teaching. Carver intermediate is grades 3, 4 and 5.
That meant her kids needed to adapt not only to a new school, but a new way of learning, and a new teacher.

“I’m almost 5’9” – so here I am, I don’t have that Cinderella voice, and you’re coming to me.”

She calls her students “precious jewels “. She’ll have them honor their heroes by dressing up like Rosa Parks or Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Karch says her students relate best to stories – and she says they loved “The Wild Robot”.

“If I had to pick my favorites thing to do instructionally, I love doing the read-aloud. Kids have gotten so used to watching the story on Zoom that we have to bridge that a little bit because I like to walk around and read them stories. You have to work the room, because if not and you’re only at the front, then only a couple of kids get a great seat.”

When asked what she would be doing if she weren’t a teacher, Karch was hard-pressed to answer.
She says teaching is her favorite “sport”.

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