Benton woman comes out of retirement to teach amid coronavirus pandemic

While many teachers across the country decided to retire this year, one in central Arkansas decided it was time to come out of retirement during the pandemic.

BENTON, Arkansas — While many teachers across the country decided to retire this year, one in central Arkansas decided it was time to come out of retirement during the pandemic.

Stephanie Livers retired about five years ago, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and a need for dedicated teachers, she realized her heart still belongs in the classroom.

Livers is back in her first-grade classroom on a whole new level, adjusting to what school looks like now compared to when she closed her classroom door for what she thought would be the last time.

“We knew this wasn’t going to be an easy year, but we do know it is a year for teachers when others are retiring,” said Livers.

She tossed around the idea of returning to Caldwell Elementary last year, but the time wasn’t right.

Livers is learning a lot of new and challenging skills along with her first-grade students, like having to juggle virtual and in-class learning at the same time.

“I’ve learned a lot about Google Classroom, I’ve learned how to record myself, I’ve learned a lot about many different websites that students can interact with,” said Livers.

Livers said the transition from stay-at-home mom to teacher again has been hard, but it’s a challenge that’s well worth the kids who need her.

“The students have done amazing and that has made all the hard work worth it,” said Livers. “They have risen to the challenge to wear a mask. If we can get through this year, we can get through anything.”

Livers said since she’s out of retirement, she doesn’t plan on leaving again anytime soon.