BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– Teachers in Raleigh County put a bow on the school year as they completed their first full year back in person since the pandemic began.
Administrators and Teachers at Crescent Elementary in Beckley said the return to in-person learning was an overwhelming success.
Teachers said when students returned at the start of the 2022 year, they noticed many had a hard time redeveloping their social skills after spending so much time alone over the past two years.
“You got shut down in your third-grade year and you didn’t really come your fourth-grade year, and now you’re here. You have to learn all those “how to play well with others” rules all over again,” said Crescent Elementary Principal Theresa Lewis.
Teachers also added dealing with positive COVID tests which left some students still stuck at home quarantining was another struggle this year.
But they said more than anything from this year, they’ll remember the thrill on the kids faces when they participated in group activities like assemblies and field trips with their classmates.
“We had Field Day this year, which we haven’t had in a couple of years, and the kids love Field Day,” said Kindergarten Teacher Robin Lilly. “They got to play in a Foam Machine, have some cotton candy and popcorn, and compete in some challenges.”
But for all the fun Crescent Elementary teachers had being back in person with their students this year, many are finishing the school year with even more concerns than they had at the beginning.
Many teachers, at Crescent and across the nation, are still deeply shaken by the deaths of 19 students and two teachers as a result of the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
Safety concerns will be front of mind for both teachers and administrators when the 2022-23 school year starts in the fall.
“I would like to see a security officer, though, at every school. Not just middle and high school, but I think we need them at Elementary schools as well,” said Lilly.
“There’s not a day that goes by as the principal that I don’t walk this school and think ‘okay we need to do this to keep safe, we need to do that to keep safe,'” Lewis told 59News.