Sevier County first-year teacher shares thoughts on starting school

"I'm strangely excited and I'm a little overwhelmed to say the least," said Corey Puckett.
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 7:54 PM EDT
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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Two Sevier County School System teachers are going in different directions.

One has left the school system and another on the cusp of beginning his first year out of graduate school.

“I’m strangely excited and I’m a little overwhelmed to say the least,” said Corey Puckett.

Puckett’s first full-time teaching job is coming during a strange time for schools.

“Adapting is what teaching is all about,” said Puckett.

Northview Senior Academy’s newest economics and personal finance teacher was ready to get into the classroom.

“We’re ready to adjust and adapt and I feel like we’ve got a good plan,” said Puckett.

English teacher Jaclyn Kile has moved on. It’s a decision she made before the pandemic.

“It will be a stressful year I’m sure for education,” said Kile.

She has three decades of teaching experience and was ready to pass that on to Corey and other teachers.

”This year they will dig a little deeper, help each other through this, find the brighter side, find the positive in the negative,” explained Kile, “We’re stuck in the negative let’s find some positive out of it.”

Her biggest piece of advice was to remember the students.

“They need you. They need your love,” said Kile.

Corey felt prepared despite the nerves.

“We went through all the training. Our district thankfully has given us this extra time to go through all the training that we have and we have a support system,” explained Puckett.

He had advice for other educators: “Whether you’re online teaching, whether you’re teaching virtually, remote, in-person-- good teaching is good teaching.”

Puckett’s also adjusted his classroom layout. He separated the desks and added screens to protect students.

He will still wear his mask at all times. He will also use his Chromebook to go live and record sessions to teach virtual and traditional learners at the same time.

That way if students have to miss class there will be a recording as well.

“The virtual students are going need your help as much as the people in your classroom. Their needs don’t go away because they’re virtual.” said Puckett.

Kile plans to travel when the world opens up again. Until then she will work for a fundraising charity in Sevier County.

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