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Back to School: Brand new Anchorage School District teacher heads off to her first day of school

Brand new Anchorage School District fifth grade teacher, Katie Bozone is geared up and ready to...
Brand new Anchorage School District fifth grade teacher, Katie Bozone is geared up and ready to start her own classroom for the first time this school year.(Taylor Clark)
Updated: Aug. 12, 2021 at 7:05 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The kids still have another weekend of summer, but on Thursday, Katie Bozone heads to class for the first time as a brand new teacher for the Anchorage School District.

Bozone is going to be a fifth grade teacher at Lake Otis Elementary. During the peak of the pandemic, she said she had just graduated and got a taste of what it was to teach online while she was still getting her teaching degree.

Growing up in Anchorage herself, she said her number one goal for the school year is to get her students back in the swing of things as far as learning together again.

“I’m so excited to have like group projects and just a lot of community in the classroom,” Bozone said. “Because last year we all felt isolated and we were separate and it was really hard working with others. So I’m really excited to have the students learn how to work in a community, learn from one another and not just rely on themselves.”

Many teachers had a lot of trouble with online classes last year. Even after getting some experience with a virtual format, she never doubted becoming a teacher.

“It was fun, and you had to be creative,” she said.

As schools open again, Bozone is thinking about how she’s going to set up her classroom with themes and procedures. All while keeping in mind that the pandemic is still a factor. Bozone said she has been fully vaccinated, and she’s not that scared of it.

Still, she isn’t trying to let germs get in the way of learning. She said she’s planning on making sure the students are being hygienic and washing their hands and following the masking rules.

“I think we’ll slowly start working together and just test it out and make sure that we’re all staying safe,” she said.

There’s a lot of confidence coming from ASD that schools won’t close and students won’t be sent home in large numbers due to recent guidance that properly masked students don’t have to quarantine after being a close contact with COVID-19 cases.

Related: Back to School: Issues with masking in Anchorage schools will be handled on case-by-case basis

However, if the pandemic does send students back to their laptops, Bozone said she’s confident that she and the other teachers can adapt like they did more than a year ago.

“If it does go back to school online, it’s going to be an easy transition for some because we’ve done it before, and we’re prepared. And then we can just go back to what we were doing with teaching online,” she said.

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