Incoming Duluth teachers share hopes for unique year ahead

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Incoming teachers gathered at Duluth East High School to pick up supplies, hear motivational speeches and prepare for the upcoming year as part of a New Teacher Induction Monday.

“It’s a really interesting time to be in education, but it definitely has its room for growth,” Keara Ballavance, science teacher said.

At the event, many teachers shared their hopes for the unique year ahead. One of these was striving to see the glass ‘half full.’

“I think having a good attitude, a positive attitude about school even if it looks a little bit different than they are used to,” Libby Palokangas, a Spanish Immersion teacher said.

Teachers also shared that they aim to keep students safely connected.

“Really taking advantage of being in person and building up their relationship with their classmates and with their teachers, so if anything does go back to online learning that they can have those experiences to base off of,” Ballavance said.

Additionally, some teachers said they plan provide a few out of the box learning opportunities to make things fun.

“I want to share a lot of music with my students,” Andres Chavez, 2nd grade teacher said. “I also want to bring my piano to the classroom in order to provide a learning environment with music.”

Most of all, teachers said they hoped to lift students up in their studies and in life as we all continue to learn during the pandemic.

“We have kids in our building that have never had a normal year of school and they are so adaptable and they are so good at understanding their needs to protect each other and help each other learn,” Palokangas said.