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'It was a lot better than we expected:' Alberta teacher on first day back

Last Updated Sep 1, 2020 at 4:46 pm MDT

FILE PHOTO. A sign on a table at a Calgary high school tells students to limit the number of people who sit there--one of many measures brought into schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (PHOTO: Jo Horwood, CityNews)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — It’s day one for kids who go to Calgary’s public schools.

Many students woke up Tuesday morning to get ready for the first day of in-person classes in over five months.

One teacher from the Edmonton-area said her first day on Monday went a lot better than expected.

“I was surprised at the calm and I was really, really impressed with our first try at a pandemic back to school (environment),” she said.

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She told 660 NEWS that it was significantly different than the typical start of the school year, and teachers spent most of the day showing students how to stay safe during the pandemic.

“Pretty much the whole day was spent going through how do you put a mask on, how do you take it off, where do we go wash out hands.”

She said kids seemed to be overjoyed to finally return to school and have some tiny sense of normalcy in their lives again.

“All of us were very nervous about our first day because we didn’t know what it was going to look like,” she added. “I think everybody in terms of our staff put on their bravest face and met the kids with smiles and confidence even though we might not have felt that way inside.”

She noted the students were making a visible effort to obey safety protocols; however, she says the younger students may have difficulty.

“I think the younger children will struggle in trying not to roll around on each other because that’s how they play.”

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She worries it may be challenging on the days when all the kids will finally be back at school around the same time.

“I feel that for the most part, even though  it’s a very difficult decision for parents to make, those that did choose in-person chose that because they believe it’s in the best interest for their child to be back at school.”

Overall, she said the first day back turned out well.

“I’m not saying it was easy, I’m saying it was a lot better than we expected.”