The Effect of COVID-19 on Teachers


By Harrison Kaltenbach

Horacio Soto, a Spanish teacher at San Marcos High School, sits at his computer teaching how to conjugate Spanish verbs in front of a wall of black screens.

“Caleb, do you know what ‘nosotros’ means?” Soto asked. 

There is silence on the other end. Soto waits for a few seconds, hoping Caleb just had a bad connection and simply couldn’t hear him, but after 10 seconds of silence passes, Soto knows Caleb is just in another room doing something else and not participating in the class. Soto groaned, knowing that this was going to be a long school year. 

On March 11th, 2020, the world seemingly shut down because of the Coronavirus pandemic. This affected many lines of work. One job the pandemic affected heavily was being a teacher.

“The biggest difference is wearing the masks. Last year we had plexiglass which was harder for students, because students would turn to their partners and talk to each other but couldn’t understand what the other was saying” said Horacio Soto.  

When talking about teaching on Zoom last year, Robert Cendro, A P.E teacher at San Marcos high school said,

“You don’t know if everybody is doing what they’re supposed to be doing because kids aren’t required to have their camera on. That part was frustrating because it’s not guaranteed that physical education was actually happening for those kids.” 

Soto and Cendro weren’t the only teachers that had trouble while teaching with COVID-19.         

“It is hard because you don’t want kids to miss any time but  with the COVID-19 protocols,  kids have to miss longer periods of time,”said Jaclyn Preciado, an English teacher. This year, more than any other, kids have missed a lot of time because they have to stay home if they have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive. You can still get tested or vaccinated and miss less time, but still, contact tracing policies have caused a lot of absences. All in all, teachers had to jump through a lot of hurdles during the pandemic and these struggles are nowhere near over.