Theatre Teacher Comes Back From Another Quarantine

Quarantining takes a toll on Ms. Gehrke and her home life


Sammy Knickmeyer

Ms. Gehrke teaches in her 8th hour Theatre Tech 3 class. During the week of Jan. 4-8, she was quarantined, meaning she had to teach from home.

Sammy Knickmeyer, Reporter

Ms. Gehrke has been quarantined multiple times, taking her away from the school building, her friends, and her family. 

“It’s been so weird to see neighbors or wave from a distance but not really get to know them,” Gehrke said. Due to being quarantined, she has had many COVID-19 tests done. “I’ve had four (PCR) tests, these are the ones that take a few days to get results, and two rapid tests,” Gehrke said. 

During the week of Jan. 4-8, Gehrke was quarantined, meaning she had to teach from home. With having two children, she couldn’t hold Google Meets as a way of teaching students directly at home. Instead, she gave work on Google Classroom.  

“Planning assignments, like pretty much every other teacher I know, has definitely been challenging. The extra element of teaching five different performance-based classes and trying to figure out how to perform and build while going between different levels has been chaotic, but we’ve made it work,” Gehrke said. 

Gehrke’s quarantine experiences don’t only affect her school life, but also her home life. 

“We’ve pretty much stayed to ourselves, in our small bubble. We didn’t do our annual trip to see extended family, so we haven’t seen most of them since the summer of 2019. We moved right at the end of 2019 to a new neighborhood, and it’s been so strange to see neighbors or wave from a distance but not really get to know them,” Gehrke said. “My daughter started kindergarten this year, and to know this is the only way she’s ever experienced school is so bizarre to think about. So many of her conversations begin with, ‘When the germs are away….’ We also have many friends and family who are immunocompromised, so we’ve kept our distance and we’ve obviously been really concerned about them.” 

It has been questioned whether or not each district’s learning level is good for the happiness and health of students and staff at Liberty. Gehrke doesn’t only teach theatre, she’s also the teacher in charge of the theatre program. Figuring out how to do theatre during level 3 and 2 has been difficult for theatre students and staff. Gehrke believes level 2 is the best option due to safety issues that come with level 1. 

“I prefer level 1, obviously, because I want to see all my students. However, my opinion is that overall level 2 is the safest way for us to be here.” Gehrke said. 

Vaccinations for COVID-19 have been a controversial topic on the media, but many trust the process.

“I will definitely be getting vaccinated as soon as it is available to me,” Gehrke said.