Duanesburg faculty are trailblazing new teaching methods as education is reimagined under hybrid learning. They are working harder than ever to teach in multiple classrooms, while also teaching students remotely through live streams — all at the same time.
Some faculty are teaching up to 50 students at once. They lead students in their classrooms while live streaming their lessons to classrooms down the hall and to students who are learning remotely at home.
“Preparing for this school year was a big challenge,” teacher Kristina Graziadei said. She teaches math to seventh and eighth graders at the Duanesburg Jr./Sr. High School. “Because of the large class sizes, I’m providing more one-on-one sessions for extra help, creating more resources for quiz and test review and holding more review sessions.”
Teachers are up for the challenge. They say these times have made them better educators, as they plan together and learn from each other.
“Planning made it work. Planning made us work better, more collaboratively,” fifth grade teacher Chris Danapilis said. He works together with teachers Jacob Armstrong and Richard Duff to lead instruction in three classrooms plus 15 remote students. “I never thought that after teaching for 22 years that I would become a better educator because of these challenging times.”
Classrooms have been equipped with streaming equipment including cameras, screens, microphones and speakers to ensure students can see and hear lessons, even if their teacher isn’t right in front of them. When instruction is coming from another room, a faculty or staff member is in each classroom to help. Every student has a Chromebook, which helps teachers leverage new digital tools.
“To prepare, I really focused on using the technology the district has made available,” teacher Adam Randall said. He teaches social studies at the jr./sr. high school. “Collaboration played a large role in developing strategies as well. It’s a new experience for all of us teachers so we spend a lot of time discussing various strategies for our lessons.”