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Three Bright Spots of Remote Teaching

Ms. Ruggerio working with students via screenshare


As I begin to wrap up all of the loose ends before winter break, I cannot help but pause for a moment to reflect on my experience during this adaptive pause. This year has presented challenges like no other, and every day I question if I am providing the best I can under the circumstances to my students.

Even still, there have been some positive moments during remote learning and the pause:

Students miss interacting with us as much as we miss them.

When I surveyed my students a week into the adaptive pause, the most positive comment was overwhelmingly that students were so glad to touch base with their teachers every day.

I love office hours.

Under the hybrid model it is difficult to focus on both groups of students each day, but during the adaptive pause we’ve had time each day to touch base with our students. I’m not sure I’ve had as many one-on-one sessions in a regular year. This has been so important not only for student learning, but also relationship-building in a world where we tend to operate nose to the grindstone all day. I’ve had students show off parts of their room, their pets and even gotten waves from their college-aged siblings who were former students of mine.

Parent teacher conferences were surprisingly awesome.

I have never met with as many parents as I did this year, and I’ve never met with such a broad range of parents. Hosting Zoom conferences meant I could not only use the waiting room and move through the conferences efficiently, but also parents could Zoom or call into the meeting. In one case, I had each parent and their child zooming on a different device from a different space into the meeting!

There are parts of this year that I never want to experience again in my career, but even amidst the darkness there has still been some light, and the light is what keeps me going.

Marianna Ruggerio headshot

Marianna Ruggerio

Marianna Ruggerio is the AP physics/physics instructor at Auburn High School. She has worked in the district for the past six years after moving to Rockford from the Chicago area in 2014. Marianna is constantly looking for ways to improve professionally and serves on the executive councils for both the Illinois and Chicago sections of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

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