Educator tackles pandemic in first year of teaching

Bree Ford Webre started her first year of teaching at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. She was ready to finally have a normal year.

“But that didn’t happen at all,” she said. “March happened.”

Instead of finally having a normal year, the seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher at Albert Cammon Middle School started teaching the year a pandemic spread around the world.

Webre said she was a little nervous but more excited to start her teaching career. Her previous years included college coursework at Southeastern Louisiana University and a student teaching experience that was altered when her mentor was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I have always been passionate about learning and the value of education,” the Montz resident said. “I was always super into history, especially Louisiana history, and even got a minor in history in college. I knew that I wanted to share my passion of history with others and hope they would gain the same appreciation and passion that I have.”

A product of the St. Charles Public Schools herself, Webre said she had no doubts about where she wanted to teach when her college career was over.

“I definitely wanted to come back to St. Charles,” she said. “Student teaching somewhere else definitely made me appreciate all the resources we have here and did everything I could to get back here.”

While her first year of teaching was anything but mundane, Webre said the teachers at Albert Cammon served as a crucial support system to her.

“I got married and I bought a house and went straight into COVID,” Webre said, adding that the beginning of remote virtual learning was rocky because of a lot of students’ inability to access technology at home.

She said once students were given the proper technology, she and other teachers were able to virtually meet with their students and play interactive games.

“We’ve tried to keep up relationship building while being out,” Webre said. “There’s been a lot of anxiety about this school year, but I feel like I’ve gotten to a better place now.”

Webre said her favorite part about school last year was the group of students she had.

“I know it was my first year teaching, but the kids were just a special group that made discussions and debates so much fun,” she said. “There are two things I hope my students gain from me – context and independence. There are so many historical events that have contributed to where we are today and knowing them can help you form opinions about the present.”

She said her favorite part of being a teacher is answering students’ questions.

“To most students, the past seems like a completely different world to them,” Webre said. “So getting questions like ‘Did they have grass back then?’ or whatever wild question they come up with makes my day. It also makes me happy when they ask deep questions that lead to an in-depth conversation about race relations, personal experiences or how things in the past have led to social issues today.”

As far as the 2020-2021 school year goes, Webre said she is ready to roll with whatever the year presents.

 

About Monique Roth 183 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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