HELENA — For 32 years Michelle Johnson has been a teacher, and in one short school year her teaching style was turned upside down by the pandemic.
Helena Middle School English teacher Michelle Johnson says, “Using some of these new technologies, I had never been in Microsoft Teams before, never head of Zoom, and of course now we are using these online curricular things that are great and that’s good.”
Mrs. Johnson’s positivity radiates through the computer screen as she tells me all the good things that have come from a school year conducted during a global pandemic.
Michelle adds, “It’s wonderful to have the interactions we do get to have with the kids, I mean I think you really appreciate that because you really love having them, if you only get them two days a week, those two days are going to be great!”
Johnson is the teacher of her classroom, but she is being forced, through unforeseen circumstances, to learn alongside her students. Those shared experiences have helped keep connections with her students, alive.
Michelle says, “We use chat in Microsoft Teams to just talk to the kids and just to sometimes have these funny little conversations with kids” she went on to say, it’s been a wonderful experience.
All of the new changes she made, were not necessarily easy.
Michelle says, “We all had to stretch what we were used to doing, and of course being kind of a veteran I am used to doing certain things. I have had to really stick to an agenda that I send to the kids at the beginning of the week, and that’s not my favorite thing, but it is a necessity.”
After this school year, Michelle is looking forward to some normalcy, and being able to build relationships with her students in person- face to face- once again.