Behind the Scenes of Remote Teaching With Our Teachers

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Francisco Uceda

Señor Uceda’s art piece called “Social Distancing” accurately reflects our current situation.

Through video calls and various social media platforms, we have had the luxury of keeping in touch with our friends while in quarantine. However, we have had very little insight into what our teachers have been doing, especially since most of our contact with them is through Google Classroom. Aside from making sure that we have the tools we need to learn remotely, our educators have been finding their own ways to stay busy. 

Ms. Sagalchik—with her gorgeous new haircut—loves to explore the outdoors with her boyfriend. (Michelle Sagalchik)

Staying true to her profession as a history teacher, Ms. Sagalchik has kept herself occupied by reading books about history. She has read a biography on Harry S. Truman, “How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States,” along with many others. She has also made sure to spend quality time with her loved ones. “I learned how to make some of my favorite dishes and some fun desserts from my mother,” said Ms. Sagalchik. She has even gotten in touch with nature, spending plenty of time hiking and enjoying the outdoors. “I am embarking on a new project—planting sunflowers!” she said.

During the school year, Mr. Ilany keeps himself busy, balancing between teaching a variety of advanced physics classes and coaching the school’s Robotics team. Currently, Mr. Ilany is enjoying a serene quarantine life. “I go for walks around the neighborhood when the weather is nice and vegetate these days,” he said. He has used this time to catch up on some of his favorite shows, including “What We Do in the Shadows” and “The Clone Wars.” He also enjoys the company of his family members, especially since they are able to spend more time together in quarantine. He said, “My brother just had his third baby!”

Mr. Ilany’s cat, Pablo, is featured in some of Mr. Ilany’s remote videos for his AP Physics classes. (Joshua Ilany)

Aside from being both a Precalculus and Algebra II/Trigonometry teacher, Mr. Savino is a big fan of sports. It comes as no surprise that he has engaged in different activities that help him to stay active. He said, “I had an old weight set that I set back up and have been using, and I bought a net so that I can practice my golf swing.” He has also used his extra free time to try new things, including learning a new instrument. “I have been trying to teach myself guitar, but it is a very, very slow process,” he said. In addition, he has been enjoying eating dinner with his family, and he has even experimented with cooking different meals. “The other day I made shrimp fried rice that I honestly thought may have been better than takeout,” he said.

Sr. Uceda, who teaches both regular and advanced Spanish classes, has embarked on several creative projects. “I am directing the translation of an anthology by a Spanish poet with a translation team of teachers and students from NYU,” he said. When he is not teaching or directing, he enjoys gardening and reading. Additionally, since he is strictly quarantined, he has found comfort in creating artwork in the form of photographs. Despite his busy schedule, he has made sure that he sets aside ample time to spend with his family. He said, “I am spending a lot of time with my daughters, helping them with homework, and dancing and cooking with them.” He and his daughters have watched many popular Netflix shows together, including “Tiger King,” “Money Heist,” and “Ozark.”

As a physical education teacher, Ms. Dietrich understands the importance of staying active. She still makes sure to exercise regularly despite being in quarantine. “I now go running at least twice a week, do yoga, or a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout,” she said. She has also created a YouTube channel called “Ms. D’s Corner” where she posts content to help others stay fit. Aside from keeping up with physical activity, she has been sustaining her mental health. “I am taking online classes about mindfulness and other interesting subjects,” she said.

In a time when it is easy to feel isolated and disconnected, it helps to keep in contact with those dear to us. As much as we emphasize checking in on our friends, it certainly would not hurt to check in on our teachers, too!

As much as we emphasize checking in on our friends, it certainly would not hurt to check in on our teachers, too!

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