Harbor view elementary utilizes partitions in its efforts to keep distance between students; File photo by Ruta Smith

More than 700 teachers in the Charleston County School District completed an anonymous survey conducted by the Charleston Teacher Alliance regarding the return to classes this semester. The results show an education system trying its best to do right by students, while some teachers disagree with district decisions so far.

Roughly 50% of teachers answered that they didn’t think instruction should move to all-virtual learning during the pandemic, 38% thought that it should and the remaining 12% were unsure.

But while 66% of responding teachers said the agreed that safety protocols and their school’s procedures keep students and staff safe, only 38% said their classroom is regularly and properly cleaned according to safety protocols.

Other issues discussed include the sheer volume of work needed to keep schools operating smoothly through the pandemic.

“I have never had so many responsibilities outside of my teaching duties,” one teacher wrote in the anonymous survey. “I have kids in my room from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. with no break in between. Nevertheless, I honestly do not know of any other way I would do it.”

At the same time, 65% of responding teachers said it takes much more time to properly plan and prepare for classes, and 74% said they were concerned that online students aren’t engaging with their classes to begin with.

Teachers also listed issues with technology that hindered their ability to teach to their best ability, including poor internet reliability at students’ homes and the school, hardware issues and poor connectivity with district-supplied technology.