PALM HARBOR, Fla. — When in-person classes resumed on August 24, Geraldinne Bachman was excited to get back to her classroom to teach Spanish at Carwise Middle School in Palm Harbor.
"I did not enjoy teaching online in the Spring so I chose face-to-face. I had no problem going back, no problem at all," Bachman said.
Bachman said shortly before the start of school, she learned she would be teaching both in-person and online classes simultaneously.
She said her class sizes were averaging 35-45 students and when she complained that was too many she was told that she was expected to teach up to 41 students at a time.
"Trying to juggle that and go back and forth was hard. Throughout the day, I had more than 200 students. Trying to grade all that work was too much. I was working 6 days a week. I would go home, eat dinner and then keep on working," she said.
Bachman also said students and teachers are battling on-going technical issues associated with distance learning as the pandemic wears on.
"I didn't know what to do. Some things work, some things didn't work. Every day would be trial and error. I was telling the students "It's ok, it's ok" and parents were emailing me very frustrated," she said. "The kids aren't really learning that much and teachers are overwhelmed and nothing is really being done and everybody is overwhelmed but it was just too much for me."
Bachman said she decided to resign.
Spectrum Bay News 9 has heard from several other teachers who said they are quitting, too.
Bachman said if class sizes were reduced and simultaneous instruction ended, she would love to teach again, but for now, she's considering a career change.
"I was getting very anxious and stressed and working a lot, almost volunteering my time. I love my kids but I had to do something for me and my family because it wasn't healthy."