Inside the New Classroom: Moore Middle School
This is part of an occasional series highlighting teachers who are adapting and finding innovative ways to teach through remote learning.
When they’re at Moore Middle School, sixth-grade math teachers Mike Masin and Adam Lempka talk often throughout day - seeking advice, swapping ideas, offering support.
Masin and Lempka miss their in-person interactions during this time of remote learning, not only with each other but with other Moore teachers. However, they’ve continued to collaborate in new ways and are determined to finish the year strong.
“We thought we would keep our lessons and assignments as normal as possible in this most abnormal situation,” Lempka said. “Mike and I are in constant communication with each other and our special education teacher, Max Morrissey, to provide meaningful instruction and assignments during this time.”
“We meet as a sixth-grade team once a week,” Masin added, “and know that the other sixth-grade teachers on our team are doing a tremendous job reaching out to their students and providing them with meaningful work. It is so great to have a strong, cohesive team during a time like this. We can share ideas so we provide instruction to students in a way they are getting the same kind of message in all of their classes.”
One positive from this situation: They’ve learned teaching methods they can utilize when they return to Moore.
“I think what I will take out of this experience is how I can further use technology to reach my students,” Lempka said. “I think this will make me a much better, more rounded teacher and I’ll be able to reach students who may have missed a week due to illness, vacation, etc.”
“We have tried so many different platforms, lesson deliveries and practices,” Masin said. “Not everything we have done has been a home run, but there are definitely ways to adapt what we've created to be used in the classroom. I think these short video lessons we created will be a great resource for our students and parents at home. I envision us continuing to create these video lessons and keeping a library available to our students.”
They both say, for the most part, students have responded well to remote learning. They visit their Google classrooms, keep up with their assigned video lessons, send emails with follow-up questions. Many of them are regulars during Zoom office hours.
“We are just so proud of the effort and support our students have demonstrated at home,” Masin said.
Teachers work hard to build relationships with their students, Lempka said, which has helped with this transition. It also makes the current situation more difficult.
“We miss the students and the interactions we have with them on a daily basis,” he said. “We have great students but even better kids. Their personalities shine every day at school and we miss that for sure. The best part about school is not only the education, but the relationships with people.”
Published: April 21, 2020, Updated: April 22, 2020