MT. VERNON — This week’s Orthopaedic Center of Southern Illinois MVT–Most Valuable Teacher Award–goes to Mr. Lance Boldt, a social studies teacher at Mt. Vernon Township High School.
Boldt teaches American History, World History and World Geography. He’s in his 18th year of teaching, 16th at Mt. Vernon. Boldt says teaching during the pandemic has provided him quite a learning experience.
“All teachers are looking for ways to do it better than what they’ve done in the past,” Boldt said. “Obviously, none of us want to go through a pandemic. This has been pretty tough, but at the same time we’ve all learned things to make things better and help the students learn in ways maybe we didn’t understand in the past. It’s made me step outside my comfort zone and pick up some new ideas.”
Boldt says it has taken a major group effort between teachers and staff to make the school year as smooth as possible.
“It’s brought teachers together, learning from each other and getting ideas from each other” Boldt said. “Especially in the fall, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing with some of the things whether it was on (Google) Classroom or other things. Other teachers have really helped me. I know that.”
While the school year has definitely looked different, Boldt says it has sounded different as well.
“It was so weird going through the hallways in the fall hardly seeing anybody,” Boldt said. “It was so empty. On top of that, when you do have students in class, there aren’t that many in class. Those that are in class have the mask on. They don’t say a lot. It was so quiet, and I remember thinking to myself, I miss the old days when you had to tell kids ‘let’s get quiet, stop talking.’ You just miss that communication and the interaction.”
“We love to talk about the grades and all that,” Boldt added. “There’s such a social aspect to education as well, and the kids needed that. I think the kids missed that, and the kids that are back here with us now, I think they’re enjoying it. It’s definitely been quite the process.”
That process still includes the remote element. In addition to those students that are full remote, all students work from home on Fridays.
“The student who are remote–I’m constantly trying to reach out to just to make sure we’re learning,” Boldt said. “With Google Classroom and other technologies we have right now, it’s not been as difficult as I thought it would be. If this pandemic would’ve hit ten years ago, I don’t think we’d have been able to get through it quite as easily. We’re navigating our ways through it. With the modern technology, we’re able to handle as much as we possibly can.”
In his nomination, Hunter Shirley tells us, “He always puts his students first. He does some awesome activities that go along with what we talk about in class. He answers questions that students have on History, America and life. He is an excellent candidate for this because he always has a smile on his face and is willing to help others and is glad to. He is one reason why I want to follow his foot steps and be a History teacher too.” Boldt teaches American History, World History and World Geography.
If you would like to see others we have honored as Most Valuable Teachers, just go here.