DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)– Kelly Gagnon lived in Japan from 2008 to 2010. She taught English at a public junior high school and elementary school. Gagnon was there during the H1N1 outbreak. “At work everyday, all people including teachers were wearing masks. For about two and a half months, I wore a mask almost 12 hours a day, five or six days a week, playing volleyball, teaching english, during recess,” said Gagnon.
There were changes she had to make to her teaching. “I very much had to be even more energetic, even more over the top so students could still understand,” said Gagnon. Although she doesn’t have pictures of herself and students with masks on, she says she still has great memories teaching abroad. She has some advice for others who will be experiencing a much different school year. “If you stay positive about it and try to educate on the why to your students, they will roll with whatever you tell them to do,” said Gagnon.