A Packed Schedule

Many teachers at Highland take on 6/5ths.

Katie Collins, Staff

At the beginning of the school year, students at Highland High school began online for safety reasons. As the school year went on, Highland moved from hybrid to in-person, to hybrid, to finally in-person. With all the uncertainty and fear of attracting COVID, some teachers made the decision to stay at home and teach online. With Highland being such a large school, this has resulted in too few teachers for too many students. This has caused about 75% of teachers, like Jamie Cook, to take on a 6/5 teaching schedule, or a full schedule. This means that Mrs. Cook gets no prep hour to get the materials and lessons ready for class. “Most of my prep is done outside of school, like copying, planning, and making tests,” said Cook. These schedules can be very hard and stressful for teachers, as some even have classes with over 30 students in them. “My day can get super busy, but I only teach one prep, some teachers have up to three preps, which is teaching different types of classes,” said Cook. 

Teachers have sacrificed hours outside of their work to make sure students are getting the lessons they need and the materials they deserve. But all of these teachers with packed schedules have seemed to go unnoticed by students. “I had no idea,” said Matthew Heidenblut, a senior at Highland. “My teachers always have everything ready for us and always look put together. I never knew that some of them were so swamped with work,” said Heidenblut. 

With vaccines now rolling out, and more and more students and teachers getting vaccinated, it is still up in the air on whether these types of teacher schedules will continue into next year. But some teachers, amidst the pandemic, have found that they prefer teaching from home, and want to continue to do so next year. This still creates a shortage, and will still cause some teachers to continue with this packed schedule, even if the district hires more teachers. But despite everything, our teachers still come to work every day with a smile and are ready and willing to help students and answer their questions. Because in the end, what matters the most to them is the betterment of students, and helping us to succeed. And if that means that they have to take on an extra period, they do it with open arms.