New teachers adapt to historical changes in academic year

Elena Gaines

Addison Krebs 

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed challenge after challenge upon everyone, but some are experiencing this more than others. From a shortened student-teaching experience to the constant changes to protocol for the 2020-2021 school year, Addison Krebs, science teacher at Omaha North, has worked through it all.  

Although COVID-19 was never what Krebs had planned, becoming a teacher was not the plan to begin with either. When he first enrolled in University of Nebraska-Lincoln after graduating high school, Krebs wanted to pursue a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with an end goal of a career as an informal educator at a Nebraska Game and Wildlife Park or a zoo. Throughout his schooling, he had some exposure to teaching, albeit in an informal setting, that included everything from working at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo to tutoring UNL football players.   

“After those educational experiences, I realized becoming a teacher would be a much more viable and fulfilling path for me.” Krebs said.  

Krebs student taught at Millard South High School during the spring semester of 2020, but unlike most teachers, his time in a physical classroom was limited. COVID-19 forced schools to enter a state of remote learning, which Krebs said has prepared him slightly for the following year of online learning.   

 In the midst of something no one has lived through before, Krebs mentioned that some of the most difficult things to get used to surround how rapport is built with students.  

“I have about 10 students who I’ve never seen or heard from this year… and it’s almost 4th quarter! That’s really difficult as a teacher because you like to get to know each of your students as individuals, and when you know your students, it makes teaching them more enjoyable and relevant.” Krebs said.  

He also mentioned how the decisions made regarding when to move to online and vice versa, were often made at the drop of a hat providing little to no time to prepare. As a science teacher, Krebs had to adjust the way labs were done, using either virtual labs or providing demonstrations.  

However, not everything this year has brought on has been negativeKrebs is proud of how he’s been able to “remain positive and stick with things throughout it all.”.  

“The reasons why I love being a teacher are seeing students grow (both in their science knowledge, and as individuals), building relationships, and seeing who the future of the world is.” he said.