Sending my students a quick text or email is just not the same as standing by the door greeting them with a firm handshake, looking them in the eyes, calling them by their names, and welcoming them into my classroom. It pains me to know many of my students are facing unprecedented challenges with the pandemic. As a low-income Latino student myself, I have seen first-hand how devastating the pandemic has been. My single mom has had her hours reduced at work, I am taking care of my younger siblings, and we are all cramped in a one-bedroom apartment as I try to continue my graduate coursework and supporting my students.
If anything, my distance learning experiences inform the expectations I have for my students. I touch base frequently, am as flexible as possible with optional enrichment, and work to create meaningful content, including a unit on the Latino Civil Rights Movement that enables them to see themselves reflected in what they are learning. We may not be able to be together in Room 244 but we will continue doing our best to stay connected and support each other through this.
Luis A. Gonzalez is a master’s student in Stanford’s teacher education training program. He teaches U.S. history at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California.
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