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Classrooms during COVID

New York Teacher

The 2020–21 school year is demanding ingenuity, flexibility and patience from New York City public school educators. Both in-person and remote educators are grappling with the unique challenges of teaching during a pandemic. As they work to support students at home and in school, they’re asking themselves questions like: How do I conduct a hands-on chemistry lab remotely? How do I enunciate phonetic pronunciations while wearing a mask? How do I know my remote students are engaged if they won’t turn their cameras on? To help their students get through this difficult school year without falling behind, educators are revising lesson plans, troubleshooting technology and exploring new strategies. Day by day, they’re figuring out what works for their students — and themselves. Read their stories.

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.

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Xue Qing Liang, chemistry teacher, New Utrecht HS, Brooklyn

A chemistry teacher at New Utrecht HS in Brooklyn, who is simultaneously teaching in-person and remotely, says technology has presented one of the biggest problems.

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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.

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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. Read more

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.

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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.

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Krista Wozniak, in-person music teacher, PS 129, Manhattan

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.

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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.

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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.

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Related Topics: Coronavirus, Pedagogy