Local teacher takes a look back at difficult school year

Classroom Progress Report

AVERILL PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The 2020-2021 school year has taken an immeasurable toll on many Capital Region teachers. One teacher in Averill Park explains how she has worked to keep her students engaged.

Sera Deo is the kind of teacher you want your kids to have.

“A lot more has worked than seemed possible, which is great,” she said. “We are doing this; we are in-person.”

In a school year when her socially distant fourth graders had to become independent leaners, Deo managed to keep them engaged.

“I’m not afraid to try anything in my classroom that’ll make kids laugh, smile, get excited. It can be when your students answer a question, put a sticker on your face.”

When the Averill Park Central School District had to pivot to remote learning, Deo has tried it all. From socially distant reading parties to virtual tree decorations everyone could take part in.

But revamping hands-on learning is a heavy load to carry.

“We are still sanitizing every marker, every pencil, every crayon, every desk. Anything a child touches,” she said. “It’s a lot of little tiny things that take up an exorbitant amount of time.”

While she hasn’t missed a beat, she admits it has taken a toll on teachers.

“It’s really, really, really hard for teachers. We are hanging on by a thread. There’s not another way to say it. We keep our game face on while kids are here.”

Now, with nine weeks to go, she’s leaning on her colleagues.

“We need each other.”

And looking ahead to summer and next school year.

“Definitely more hopeful than I was in the summer, but still very curious about what it’s going to look like.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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