Kerri Yuhas

Wayman Academy of the Arts
Jacksonville, Florida
Kerri Yuhas, 4th Grade Math and Science Teacher

Since 2014 I have worked, learned, and taught beside the most incredible group of people a school can have.  In March 2020 we all were forced into discomfort, unsure fears and uncertainties of what would happen due to the COVID pandemic.  As a teacher, I immediately thought of every resource we could use to prepare our students, school and community for a digital learning journey.  Every week we were on Zoom and conference calls collaborating with one another nonstop, as teachers all over the ENTIRE world were. As a charter school in a challenged neighborhood we put students’ safety first.

Then August came, and our transition back into the classroom looked a little different than previous years.  Safety was our goal and social distancing, sanitizing, and face masks became the classroom norm.  More importantly coming up with creative ways to support families at home to help teach virtually, introducing a classroom that students will log “onto”, offering one-on-one support (to both students and parents), and brain storming ideas that best fit each and every student individually.

We are teachers, we are creative and that is exactly what I did.  Juggling both, brick and mortar and virtual classes are tricky.  I made sure I was engaged and gave support where needed.  Virtual parent teacher conferences when parents would be available, working with my team teacher to fit every need of our students.  Differentiated support online? Of course! ESE schedule and shared plans amongst every teacher that will touch that specific student.  Brick and mortar, we adjusted to the “get hand sanitizer” and “put your mask on” in between modeling instruction and student led teaching like it was part of the plan.  Children are resilient, whatever information or change may be, they will soak up like a sponge.  I took advantage of that and made both virtual and brick and mortar successful.  After all it is for our students and parents are so appreciative.  We are able to say, “we are here for you” and “THANK YOU for being there when we weren’t able to be”.  TEAMWORK is what it took, and I know as an educator I can tell parents to relax now, we got it from here.  I LOVE what I do!

We are all in uncharted territory.  I wish that every person could see what is going on behind the scenes.  All of us are experiencing this together.  We will rise above this together AND we will come out of this together with a whole new impressive list of skills.  This school year we have the opportunity to be AWESOME!

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