BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Teachers in Beaufort are returning to their classrooms, but it’s not to teach. Pritchardville Elementary School teacher Megan Tond is taking down her classroom decorations.
“I feel like the end of the year is always the time when you’re celebrating all the hard work that they’ve done all year. I am missing out on that, they are missing out on that, so it’s kind of sad,” Tond said.
The teachers are ending the school year after losing months with their little ones.
“It’s been really hard, just, the change of everything, teachers adapt, and they do really well with it. It is really hard not seeing the kids every day,” kindergarten teacher Kimberly Pennington said.
Reflecting on this year.
“Looking back at the beginning of the year and they could barely read and write, you know and then to now they are reading and writing.”
And watching students continue to grow over Zoom.
“Seeing that progress, with the parents at home have been sending me their work and stuff, so that’s nice to see.”
“We’ve just had to scale a lot back and it’s really hard doing that over Zoom.”
The teachers are already worried about next-year students should they have to use Zoom.
“It will be hard; you know with new kindergarten students coming in because they’ve never even been at school. They don’t really know what this is all about. So, that would still be a learning curve for us.”
While they deal with the stress of their students’ education, they must deal with pay cuts across Beaufort County
“Yeah, I think that’s going to be really hard. Some people might rely on that to get by.”
Beaufort County teachers will not be getting a pay raise this year.
“I think that will be tough if they were expecting it and now it’s not happening.”
But at Pritchardville, they feel supported
“It really hurts, but at the same time, our principle is really good about finding our stuff.”
They say for now they are more focused on their kids losing out on the last few months.
“Especially with kindergartners, they don’t really know what to expect at the end of the year. So, it’s kind of like they got robbed of fulfilling their first year in school.”
Which the hope to make up next year.