Students returned to campus this week after starting the school year under a distance learning model.
"This has been a challenging year," says Dean of Faculty, Ruth Stanley. But according to her, these difficult times have exposed a truth about Berean teachers that parents and administrators have known for a long time–this is more than a job to them, it's a ministry.
Perservering To Support Students
"Our teachers are working much harder under theses circumstances than they would under normal conditions," says Stanley. "But they are knocking it out of the park."
Many teachers across the country have given up their positions because they find it too difficult to accomplish anything. But Berean teachers have found new ways to connect with students and stay on track with the school's learning objectives.
Stanley, who conducts regular teacher observations to maintain high teaching and learning standards at the school, says she has been brought to tears watching teachers continue to disciple and mentor students this fall.
"I'm in awe of them," she says.
But this week, the hallways and classrooms came back to life with laughter and the buzz of students experiencing the campus for the first time in months. For freshmen, it was like the their first day of school.
"They had that freshman look in their eyes," says Stanley. "It's a mix of excitement, confusion, and nervousness."
A Safe Environment for Learning
Stanley says both students and teachers are happy to back in the classroom. Dozens of new precautions have been put in place to keep everyone safe. The classrooms have been arranged to keep students adequately distanced apart from one another. Hand sanitizers have been installed everywhere in the school and students are encouraged to wash their hands frequently, and masks are worn throughout the day.
The student body has been divided into two groups that alternate learning on campus and learning from home. This cuts crowding in half while ensuring that students are able to connect with teachers and each other in person regularly.
Stanley says that it has been exciting to walk down the halls and hear students and teachers discussing things, laughing, and feeding off each other's energy again. She says that students are relieved to get back to something more normal. Teachers are glad to get back to getting back to what got them into teaching in the first place – ministering to students face to face.