LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many students and teachers across the Commonwealth are either already back in school, or are preparing to return. Some teachers at Jefferson County Schools are preparing to see their students face to face again, by getting back into buildings on Monday. They're feeling nervous after waiting out a pandemic for a year, but confident.

What You Need To Know

  • JCPS begins its return to in-person learning soon

  • A group of fourth grade teachers have banded together ahead of the switch

  • Teachers are relieved to return to the classroom, with vaccines giving them a confidence boost

  • Students in Jefferson County will still have the option to learn virtually

The pandemic's uncertainty brought three Gutermuth Elementary fourth grade teachers together, in a way. 

"We actually have chosen to teach all together every day so that all of the kids, all of the fourth graders, will know all three of us. Because we didn't know what it was gonna be like when we got back," Dawn Parker said. She leads the group of teachers. 

After a year of learning virtually, some of their students will finally come back into the classroom on Thursday, March 18. That's about 45 kids.

Most of them will be in Kayla Carrier's classroom. She was able to get a first look at her school's new safety setup. 

"When we walked in, it actually was a sense of relief to see my room all set up because it made it seem more realistic but it also made it seem much more doable," Carrier said. 

Now, she's more at ease because of that tour. However, she still worries about some unavoidable moments when "kids will be kids." 

"So, there's a little bit of nervousness about, are we gonna keep our masks on? Are we gonna stay apart? When that kid comes and  tries to hug me, you know my natural inclination is to hug 'em! But if that's the worst that happens, I think we'll be okay," she said.

There's also been a confidence boost since getting the vaccine. 

"Returning to school after a whole year...it is kind of that nervous energy," Parker said. "But we're also really ready. You know, when you say, 'oh I want to be a teacher,' you don't dream of sitting in your living room on a computer."

"Actually I'm really excited to see their personalities come out when we're in the classroom," Sarah Schuster remarked of her students.

Children will still have the option to learn virtually. The teachers say there's just about 27 fourth graders doing that at their school.