BANGOR — Getting started in your first job can always be a challenge, but for teachers starting your career off during a pandemic means an even steeper learning curve.
Getting your first teaching job can be an exciting step in your life and Jacob Gebhart, band director at James F. Doughty School, said the pandemic has added a new element of teaching.
“It was just a little bit of challenge, just going into that and that being your first impression at the school, needing to adjust to all these different standards,” said Gebhart.
This is Mr. Gebhart’s first full-time position teaching and he said last year there wasn’t a beginning band for elementary schools, so this year has brought a fresh set of students that have never picked up an instrument.
“Not really being able to demonstrate how to play instruments in a normal way it definitely creates a challenge of how to do that and how to do that well and that way they’re learning the best way they can,” said Gebhart.
Along with adding new protocols to his daily teaching, Gebhart said communicating with students about the coronavirus has been a whole new experience.
“So explaining it can be difficult, however, I haven’t experienced anyone who hasn’t been open to learning those changes or adjusting,” said Gebhart. “I think covid had made everyone a little more flexible”
With the new wave of technology learning sweeping the nation, some first-year teachers have found started with a leg up.
“We definitely understand that there are different strengths that each of us brings to the table, me being brand new I kind of have the foot in the technology section,” said Gabrielle Bourgoin, a fifth-grade teacher at Mary Snow School.
Bourgoin graduated from Husson University in May 2021 and said being a student during the pandemic has helped in the transition to teaching.
“I think having my student teaching during the pandemic made it easier just so we could take what we learned in college and adapt it to what we should be doing now with altering those practices,” said Burgoin.
With all the challenges covid has brought, both teachers are eager to meet them head-on and not let the virus take away from teaching the next generation of Americans.