Stephanie Brown has been the art teacher at Fair Grove High School for about nine years, and likewise with the other teachers, she’s been powering through the school year trying to keep the students safe while also trying to provide a substantial education.
Mrs. Brown however, seems to have a lot more on her plate this year: she is currently pregnant with her second child.
“This year has probably been the most difficult year of teaching for me. There’s a lot of extra stuff on my plate on top of just trying to provide my students with a beneficial art education. Art is a very hands-on subject and just doing our normal day to day routine requires a lot of social distancing and sanitizing to keep our supplies safe for everyone to use. I am constantly aware of masks, location of students, and keeping myself back from my students to protect their health but also my own and my baby,” stated Brown.
Mrs. Brown has been taking many precautions for staying safe and trying to keep her baby healthy. One of her more major changes for this school has been her not eating lunch with any of her co-workers this year, as well as not sitting at the tables with her students during class. This has also applied to her personal life as well, as she has not attended any large social gatherings or many smaller ones with her family.
Despite not attending very many social gatherings anymore, Mrs. Brown has still been able to keep up with a few of her hobbies. Brown stated, “The few hobbies I’m able to keep up with….mom life…. is creating art and reading. Luckily, both things I have been able to do from home. I haven’t gone to a library in a long time and do not [visit] the art supply store nearly as much, but I’m thankful that I can still do these things at home. They are good stress relievers.”
Along with the general classroom changes this year, the art curriculum has also been running a little bit differently this year. Molly Bennett, a senior who is taking many of Brown’s art classes this year stated, “The advanced art class has been the same, but for other art classes it has been rough. Most of the projects have changed since they are trying to cut down exposure.”
The art club, which is run by Mrs. Brown has also taken the downside. “I miss doing all the little projects for the art club and the community. I will especially miss the art club field trip that we usually take every year,” stated Molly.
A lot of stress has been put on Mrs. Brown this year due to the fact that she has to stay safe while teaching during a pandemic not only for herself, but for the safety of her own baby. She has taken many precautions to stay safe that most people wouldn’t. Despite all of the stress that has been put upon her, Brown has still been able to keep up a good mindset to carry her through the school year. For her outlook going forward, Brown closed with, “My outlook for this year is to stay positive and look for the blessings in my everyday life. To not let covid consume my life or cause unnecessary stress that I have no control over. I’m praying for my co-workers and student’s mental health along with just general health and I’m hoping for much brighter days ahead. I am thankful that we have all made it this far.”