GCSD teachers show passion for subject, compassion for students

To the Editor:

This is a love letter to the teachers of Guilderland. For the last year, our grandson has been studying remotely from our home. This has given me a unique opportunity to hear how the teachers are coping with this unusual situation.

We all know how difficult it has been for the students, but I don’t think we fully realize how difficult it has been for the teachers. With no warning, they had to immediately change the way they had been taught to teach for many years.

No longer did they have a class full of fresh-faced students. The students who were in class were socially distanced and had on face masks. The rest of their class were represented by dots on the computer screen. 

This presented problems with attendance-taking because every day there was a different group of students in class versus remote. Also, none of them had been shown how to use these computers to teach virtually. 

How do you teach to students in the class and remote students at the same time? They all had to learn fast.  The amazing thing to me was how well they did it, sometimes with the help of a student.

For instance, if a teacher was struggling, a student would politely chime in, “May I help you, Mr./Ms. X?”  The teacher would always respond, “Yes, please.”

Despite all these obstacles, the teachers remained passionate about their subjects, compassionate to the students, and encouraging to them. Frequently the teachers were met with silence from the “dots” on the screen, which they would joke about.

Sometimes you would hear them play crickets chirping in the background, or my favorite was when one of the teachers started playing Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence.” I nearly died laughing. They kept their senses of humor and joked or even sang sometimes to the students.  

I’ve always said a good teacher is worth their weight in gold, and we are blessed with many golden teachers. I just wanted to let them all know how much I, and I’m sure many others in our community, appreciate how much they have done for all our kids during this unprecedented time. Thank you to them all!

Cherry Neil


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