The nutrition and wellness class is a class about, well… nutrition and wellness. In that class, where food is handled often, social contact is huge. With COVID hanging around the way it is, not many things can really be done.
When the school was on the green schedule, plenty of classes had problems, but Carmen Yarbrough seems to have had it the worst. In the nutrition and wellness class, they use food and tangible ingredients that require hands-on activity from multiple people.
Yarbrough said, “When we were on the green schedule, I had up to 30 students in class at a time.” With the green schedule, it’s hard, of course. But even with the hybrid schedule, it’s still hard.
Every class has its different challenges, but some classes have harder challenges. P.E., Biology, Chemistry, etc. Every class that involves hands-on material will have an issue. Since Nutritional Wellness involves cooking and groups, it’s a little bit harder than other classes. Yarbrough uses 15 minute barriers to keep students separated and out of quarantine.
“I do remind students that every 10-15 minutes they should step away from the lab, walk back to their desk, in order to break the 15 minute barrier.” She has them step away from the labs to keep from spreading germs.
On the green schedule, social distancing was hard for her class. She says, “When we were on the green schedule, I had up to 30 students in class at a time.” 15 people in a class is one thing, 30 people is another. She also said that she tried putting half of the class at the labs and the other half stayed at their tables to work and she’d switch it out in 10-15 minutes.
The time also messes up her classes. “However, it is not always possible, because having 48-50 minutes per class and two students in a lab group will not get the job done in a timely fashion,” says Yarbrough. The splitting groups can make things hard, but time always has to make it harder. She tried putting two people in a group to make things easier but the time and only two people are not efficient enough.
Even the expenses for this class are hectic. Yarbrough says, “From an expense standpoint, it is more cost-effective to buy ingredients for a recipe to make six times, than it is to make 12 times.”
Buying for bigger groups is a lot easier and less expensive than buying for a bunch of small groups. Yarbrough is given a budget and can’t go out and just buy things out of pocket. With so many issues coming her way with her class, she’s tried many different ways to keep her students healthy and safe.
Trying to figure out what works best for everyone individually during this pandemic, the teachers and staff members of the school have put a lot of time and effort into this year. Some classes are forced to put in more effort than others. Not only has Yarbrough tried a variety of methods, but so did many other teachers too. It was not easy to figure these things out and find what works for them. Hopefully, MHS’s situation will get better, and the teachers will be a little less stressed. Stay safe chiefs!