The first year at a new job can be challenging. Have you thought about how it may be for an educator who’s starting in the position for the first time during a pandemic? At this time, Racine Unified School District is teaching via virtual learning, due to the COVID-19. The Racine County Eye Educator of the Week, Marcus West, gives insight to what being in the role is really like.

Marcus West, a Racine resident, has always wanted to be a Physical Education Specialist. Did he ever think that a pandemic would lead him to the role? West says “everything is about timing and the correct time is now.”

West has about a month under his belt at an educator. Prior to teaching, West was working at Twin Disc, 1328 Racine Street. He worked there for 10 years. Now, he’s educating children in Racine at Julian Thomas Elementary, 930 Martin Luther King Drive.

West Pursues Teaching

Like any job, the first year is full of learning experiences. Bumps are likely to occur along the way. This year, West pursues teaching despite virtual learning. The most challenging part of being in a different format is making sure students are ready to learn at home. Children need to be out of bed, participating, and ready like they are in school which doesn’t always happen. He continues to encourage positive behavior and success.

One of the best part of virtual learning is knowing that staff and students are not being put into jeopardy because of the virus. Marcus West wouldn’t have it another way. Safety comes first and by learning in this format, the community is safer.

COVID-19 has impacted West. “Personally, I’ve had family members test positive and I’ve lost friends to this horrible virus” says the physical educator. Despite the pandemic, he’s ready to teach and learn.

Making Dreams turn into Realities

Despite the pandemic, he’s turning his dream into a reality. Marcus West is a husband, father, and grandfather. Outside of being a teacher, he loves fishing and bowling. In the midst of all of this, he found that this was the perfect time to take more children under his wing. Being able to reach a child through teaching is beneficial to the RUSD employee.

“We are in desperate need of men, especially black men. If you are looking to make a difference in a child’s life, willing to make sacrifices for the good, call RUSD” says West.

Supporting Educators

“Making a difference one child at a time. Being able to reach a child through teaching” is what West says is the best part about his new position. While Marcus West dedicates his time to the children of our community, the Racine County Eye wants to thank him for his service by honoring him as the Educator of the Week.

The best way to support those like West is to get involved. Parents should make sure that they are involved in their children’s education. Times are different. So, children can use all the help they can get.

Educators are adapting to the circumstances to make the best that they can be. If you know an educator in the Racine area who is making a difference, nominate them to be the next Racine County Eye Educator Spotlight here.


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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/