People of Central: Bekah Shultz

Story and photo by Danielle Patrick

Being a teacher in a pandemic has it highs and lows. Some teachers get to instruct their students face-to-face and have that social interaction, whereas other teachers may have to teach students who are behind a webcam.

Central Michigan University junior Bekah Shultz, majoring in elementary education with a double minor in math and early childhood, discusses how COVID-19 has impacted her life as an education major.

Shultz doesn’t pre-student teach until fall of 2021, and she doesn’t student teach until spring of 2022. This semester, she does her field experiences virtually. Shultz gets to see what it’s like to teach kindergarteners online while balancing her life outside of school. Thankfully, teaching online has made it easier for Shultz, who works two jobs because it better aligns with her schedule. From a student perspective, Shultz doesn’t feel online is as effective as being in a classroom.

“I’m in a writing class right now, so we are going to be doing virtual writing help and I don’t think it’s as effective for the students,” Shultz said. “For the impact of the students you would have with them, it’s less impactful being online.”

Looking back, Shultz reflects on what she misses about in person learning. What Shultz misses the most is the social aspect, because being in school isn’t just about learning the material. In her opinion, elementary students, especially, need physical and social interaction with one another. Being social and sharing ideas with classmates is crucial to some students.

Once Shultz graduates in may of 2022, her goal is to be a kindergartner teacher because she feels it’s a big transition age for students.  She shares what her dream classroom will look like.

“I definitely want to make it as diversified as possible. We had a literacy for children’s class and I thought it was so interesting because there were so many books that I never would’ve thought of that had different gender roles and everything,” Shultz said. “I also want things in my classroom for the students that have a hard time focusing.”

Shultz feels she is a student who is very dedicated to their studies. There are times where she gets stressed and needs a movie to cheer her up. Shultz says her favorite movie to relax with is “Lilo and Stitch,” because every time she watches it, the movie gets funnier.

Though there is still uncertainty about what will happen in 2021, Shultz knows that in 2022, she’ll be a Kindergarten teacher.