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Teaching English Language Arts in Southern Louisiana

This interview was conducted during the 2020-2021 winter break.

The engine slowly comes to a quiet stop. Pull your hair back to stretch the mask’s elastic around your ears. Mirror check. Adjust. SLAM! Car horn beeps. Birds chirp as you walk into the building. Step into your classroom and put your belongings on your desk. The bell rings and you walk to the door with a thermometer gun. Children line up outside the door. Only their eyes are visible above the masks on their innocent faces. One by one they each step up and wait for you to check their temperature before allowing them into the classroom. “Good morning, Mrs. Trosclair…”

This has been Trina Trosclair’s routine every morning since she started her 7th year of teaching in the Fall. Every day she checks the temperature of 20+ students before they enter the classroom to start their full day of mask-wearing education. Trina is a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher in Southern Louisiana– the same state that sadly lost a Congressman-elect to COVID-19 in December. Nevertheless, Trina feels safe in the school and gives credit to the janitors for their extraordinary work and attentiveness to their increasingly important daily tasks.

Outside of the classroom, Trina is like everyone else. She runs a 5k three times a week. She loves to go on nature hikes with her husband. She has a 70lb german shepherd who made a few guest appearances in her virtual classroom last spring. She loves clothes, video games, watching wrestling with her husband. And if you let her choose dinner, be ready to eat all the carbs.

Her friends would describe her as loyal. I’d describe her as bright, cheery, passionate, and someone who is taking this pandemic seriously. “I don't want a bad decision on my part to cause the death of someone else. So I always just think, you know, wearing a mask may not be the thing everybody wants to do, but if it helps save someone's life, I'll do it.” - Trina Trosclair

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Check out the playlist that pushes Trina to keep going during this pandemic below.

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