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Gifts of the garden

Educators at PS 185 in Harlem used the school garden as an outdoor classroom this fall. It helped students’ regulate their moods, develop fine motor skills and boost learning in science and vocabulary. 

Evan Losow, remote AP English teacher, Brooklyn Technical HS

When teaching remotely, there is so much educators can't control, says one AP English teacher at Brooklyn Tech HS. It's a challenge to engage students and to gauge their interest.

Diane Savattieri, kindergarten teacher, PS 185, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

A kindergarten teacher in Brooklyn says technology was the smallest part of her day before COVID-19, but now it's the biggest part, and she has been as willing to try and as adaptable as her students.

Tricia Donnelly, pre-K teacher, PS/IS 127, East Elmhurst, Queens

A pre-K teacher at PS/IS 127 in Queens who teaches remotely from both school and home, misses having students in the classroom, but she uses her creativity to keep them engaged and laughing.

Kathryn Papaccioli, special education teacher, P186, Longwood, District 75, The Bronx

Because singing and playing instruments carry a higher risk of coronavirus transmission, an in-person music teacher at PS 129 in Manhattan has had to reinvent how to teach musical concepts and skills.

Faith Morelli, paraprofessional, PS 204, Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

A paraprofessional at PS 204 in Brooklyn has become a jack of all trades in the face of staff shortages, working one-on-one with in-person students; helping those struggling with remote learning; doing temperature checks, screenings and lunch duty; plus serving as a hall monitor.

Classrooms during COVID

To make the school year feel successful, educators are revising lesson plans, troubleshooting technology and investigating new strategies. Day by day, they’re figuring out what works for their students — and themselves. Read their stories.

Jan. 20, 2014: UFT nurses help typhoon victims

Seven years ago, two Federation of Nurses/UFT members who responded to the union’s appeal for medical volunteers, helped in the relief effort in the Philippines after a devastating typhoon. 

Meghan Carey, physical education teacher, PS 160, Jamaica, Queens

The cafeteria is the only space big enough for physical education classes at PS 160 in Queens, where one teacher of both in-person and remote students has had to reimagine the activities she once did.

Megan Jonynas, music teacher, PS 139 in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

The cafeteria is the only space big enough for physical education classes at PS 160 in Queens, where one teacher of both in-person and remote students has had to reimagine the activities she once did.