Yonkers Public Schools Teachers Discuss Pandemic Pedagogy

  • "There is no blueprint for what they are doing. They are pioneers."

  • This spirited and insightful discussion features 10 Yonkers Public Schools teachers in a virtual roundtable.

    They shared what they have learned over the past year during the Covid-19 pandemic and how they have shifted their teaching techniques to meet these challenges.

    The teachers highlighted in this discussion are from various schools and grade levels, including elementary, middle and high school. They include teachers working with multilingual learners, students with disabilities, early elementary and multi-grade teachers, and high school content teachers. What they all have in common is how they were able to learn and implement new teaching strategies in their classrooms to meet the demands of both remote and hybrid teaching.

    During the roundtable discussion, teachers shared what they have learned, their “failures” and successes, ways they have engaged their learners, and which instructional tools and professional development have been helpful. They also provide advice about teaching during these extraordinary times.

    The roundtable was moderated by Dawn Bartz, who has worked closely with teachers in implementing new interactive instructional technology platforms and district professional development. Ms. Bartz, the district’s Executive Director of Social Studies, Science, Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, said “these teachers are representative of teachers who have relentlessly sought out ways to learn new ways of teaching that are effective in remote and hybrid learning environments. There is no blueprint for what they are doing. They are pioneers, using diverse styles of instruction and have successfully shifted their instructional methodologies, often multiple times.”

    Thank you to the roundtable participants:

  • Ms. Pat Alfonso, Middle School English teacher  

    Mr. Nick Cacciola, High School Physics teacher 

    Mr. Brian Coyle, High School US History and Government teacher 

    Mr. Nick Dolce, High School Special Education and Science 

    Ms. Jessica Ford, High School Earth Science teacher  

  • Ms. Gina Alvarez-Garcia, High School Algebra teacher 

    Ms. Michelle Gomes, Middle School Bilingual Social Studies teacher

    Ms. Elena Jacobs, Montessori teacher for grades 1, 2, 3 

    Ms. Soniya Platholi, High School Living Environment teacher 

    Ms. Kiyoi Tolliver-Vanwright, First Grade teacher