Jon Cartu Review: Volunteer teachers and others step up to online education - Jonathan Cartu Charity Foundation
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Jon Cartu Review: Volunteer teachers and others step up to online education

Volunteer teachers and others step up to online education

Jon Cartu Review: Volunteer teachers and others step up to online education

Melody Serra (top row, center), a former kindergarten teacher, teaches a class to young children over Zoom. Credit: Emily Kaplan for The Hechinger Report

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Before I became a journalist, my life was structured according to school bells: I woke up at 6 a.m., drove to school, and spent my days in my second grade classroom, attending to the needs of 7- and 8-year-olds.

After becoming a freelance journalist, my daily life looked much different: I woke up when I wanted, except when I was traveling on assignment. I talked to dozens of people per day, or to no one at all. I stopped thinking about methods for keeping track of pencils and haven’t thought about spelling rules in years.

Until the coronavirus happened.

55.1 million — number of public and private school students stuck at home during the pandemic

Now, I find myself dusting off old strategies and using out-of-shape teaching muscles. And while the in-person nature of my situation may be unique — I’m quarantining with the family who lives upstairs, spending time with the children while their parents work — I’ve discovered that I’m part of a group of former teachers returning to education during the pandemic to help educate the 55.1 million public and private school students stuck at home.

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