Nelson Figueroa Jr. was 5 feet, 10 inches and just 125 pounds when he played baseball at Lincoln HS in Brooklyn but, buoyed by the leadership skills and life lessons instilled in him by his teachers and coaches, he impressed enough people to pitch in college and eventually be signed by his favorite team, his hometown New York Mets.
Years from now, young people will be able to learn what it was like to be a student during the historic COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 through the firsthand accounts of 11th-graders at the Brooklyn HS of the Arts. Through videos, Andrew Savage’s American history students have recounted how the pandemic has affected them.
Fifth-graders from PS/IS 184, one of the UFT’s United Community Schools in Brownsville, Brooklyn, grapple with these issues in their online book, “Tales From a COVID Kid!” They created the book to share personal experiences from the pandemic.
How can we promote and encourage innovation and creativity in the classroom?
That’s the question the union sought to answer six years ago when it negotiated, as part of the 2014 DOE-UFT contract, an initiative that rewards collaboration between educators and administrators as they seek new ways of approaching teaching and learning.
Sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic curtailed so much normal activity that many people worried about their waistlines. But staff at PS 100 in the Soundview section of the Bronx stayed in shape by attending teacher Michelle Klimm’s online Zumba classes.
The most successful teaching strategy of Big Apple award winner Laura Blau, a visual art teacher at Millennium Art Academy in Castle Hill, the Bronx, is empowering students throughout their project-based learning process.
What can you do when students who attend your school lose their mother to the coronavirus three weeks before Mother’s Day? If you’re the staff at PS 253 in Far Rockaway, you have a drive-by car parade past the family’s home on the occasion to let your students know you are there for them.