Jun. 16, 2021 -- Remote learning gave parents an unusual glimpse into their children’s classrooms. Whether it was the mom sitting next to her 1st grader to keep him still throughout the morning or dad in the background overhearing a high school lecture, we all got an up close and personal view of our children’s teachers in a way that would never otherwise be possible.
So what have we parents learned as the fly on the wall of Heights classrooms?
Many learned about U.S. history, as taught by Advanced Placement instructor Tony Bifulco. Parents who’d longed joked that they wished they could audit his class suddenly could, listening in on lectures about the industrial revolution and early labor movements.
For younger students, the lessons were more playful. Charles Coffey’s 5th grade class at Rox El was “riveting” according to one parent and included tambourine playing and rapping lessons. “He really helped our kiddos be successful even in the worst of times.”
When students in Brock Hoover’s 8th grade math class at Monticello finished their work, he welcomed them into his kitchen for “Cooking with Mr. Hoover” and taught them how to make homemade hummus and soup from scratch.
From meeting their pets and babies to seeing their living spaces, students and parents alike got a more personal sense of their teachers’ lives. No young child will ever think their teacher sleeps at school again!
Michelle Moehler was impressed with her son’s 9th grade biology class, taught by Janett Korb. “Her style is casual, her projects are innovative and fun, and she cracks me up with her sense of humor. Her students trust her because they know she really cares about their physical and mental health.”
Many parents commented on how personally invested the teachers are in their student’s well-being. From high school teachers giving out their cell numbers to Monticello’s Sarah Cusick checking in over the weekends to Spanish teacher Senora Olivia Fatica reminding high school parents to hug their teens to Rox Mid’s Suzanne Nelson’s “Mindful Minute,” the personal touch and the focus on mental health were much appreciated.
As was the fun. “I loved hearing the 80s pop/rock playing at the beginning of Mr. [Ryan] William’s 7th grade Algebra class,” said parent Lara Troyer. “He made it feel like a festive occasion.”
And for Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, it was her daughter’s laughter that alerted her to which class she was in: “We knew she was in the middle of Mr. [Patrick] Fisher’s Honors World History class. He brought joy and fun to learning during a heavy time for these kids.”