With COVID-19 causing Iowa City schools to start fully online, teachers had to adapt to the change in student learning. One of these teachers is Nick Bushkosky.
Previously an eighth-grade science and math teacher in West Delaware and Manchester, Iowa, Bushkosky now teaches both chemistry honors and physical science for hybrid students.
“I kind of always have known I’ve wanted to be a teacher but the ‘why’ part was difficult for me. I realized, though, I really like to help others. I like to sit and talk with people about issues that they have. I like to help them learn new things. I like to see those light bulb moments.”
He was also inspired to teach by two of his high school teachers and his aunt, who was also a teacher, and by how they helped and cared for their students in the same way he wanted to.
“When I took human anatomy and physiology in high school, I knew I wanted to be a science teacher,” Bushkosky said. “I thought learning about the human body was just extremely cool because I was understanding […] Something that’s extremely relevant to us […] So, when I got to college, I started off in a couple of different science areas, but then I decided on more chemistry-based, just because I really like how math is incorporated in chemistry and I love math as well.”
Although he is now teaching in-person to hybrid students, Bushkosky had to start out the school year entirely online. Initially, he struggled because he was unable to connect with the students.
“I think one of the hardest parts of being online is not being able to engage as much with the students.” Bushkosky said, “I can tell a lot like I read faces when I’m teaching, so to not be able to see everyone… it was tough to know if everyone was grasping what we were doing and if people were struggling.”
After the first week of hybrid schooling, Bushkosky preferred being in person over online school, because he is more able to connect with the students, and it helps him to teach better than when he was online.
“I think one of the hardest parts of being online is not being able to engage as much with the students… I can tell a lot like I read faces when I’m teaching… I think I get a better sense at what… people are understanding,” Bushkosky said.