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Hopes For The Next 4 Years: An Educator Wants To Teach Her Students In Person Again

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

On this inaugural day, we are checking in with some of the people we have heard from over these past four years to find out what they hope for in the next four years.

KARLA HILLIARD: I'm Karla Hilliard. I'm a high school English teacher in Martinsburg, W. Va. I spoke to NPR a few years ago at the one-year anniversary of the West Virginia teacher and service personnel strikes.

I hope to get my students back in class. I can't wait to see them again. I can't wait for my own children to go back to school and start experiencing all of the things that they're missing right now and that we're missing collectively as a community and as a society. I hope that we rediscover ourselves and rediscover our communities.

I'm teaching inaugural poets this week. I love Maya Angelou's - it's called "On The Pulse Of Morning." At the very end of it, she says - and I'm paraphrasing - I hope we can look in our country's face and say with hope, good morning. And I just heard that this morning on a call with my 11th-graders. And I thought, man, what a wonderful message - to look at one another, to look into our communities, to look into our country and say with hope, good morning.

KELLY: That is West Virginia schoolteacher Karla Hilliard.

(SOUNDBITE OF KIASMOS'S "SWAYED") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.