During this extraordinary time when New York City’s educators are working closely with students and families from the confines of their homes, we will be publishing a series of posts describing their experiences in their own words. We are now #DOEconnected!

Follow our hashtag, #DOEconnected, join the conversation, and connect online with your neighbors across the City. Share stories of how you, your child, a teacher, or a school community member has become your hero. Remember, not all heroes wear capes.


New York City public schools made a monumental transition to remote learning on Monday, March 23. While the transition has been anything but easy, the City’s dedicated educators came together to virtually face all—known and unknown—challenges.

With the first weeks of remote learning behind us, we checked in with some of our educators to see how things are going.

Zuobin Tang smiles before his schedule remote learning class

Zuobin Tang can speak about remote learning as both a teacher and a parent—he also has to help keep his four-year-old on track with classwork through Google Classroom.

Zuobin Tang, algebra/computer science teacher, Sunset Park High School

“I have been pleasantly surprised about how some chronically-absent students have been online—and on time—for live sessions and have been asking relevant questions about the work. In addition, students who don’t normally participate in class are also actively asking questions, which has been great to see.”

In the lead-up to the first day of remote learning, “one anticipated challenge was that not all students would be able to go online according to their new remote schedules. That proved to be true the very first day” when many students initially didn’t appear online during two of his live sessions.

Mr. Tang navigated those challenges with flexibility, and has been experiencing success so far. He “prepared an orientation presentation in advance explaining what remains the same and what’s new comparing in-person instruction vs. remote learning.” His virtual classroom is guided by a “roadmap that outlines the lessons, assignments, and due dates to help students navigate through the materials. In addition, I offer students three options for homework assignments to complete so that they can choose one that best suits their schedule and demonstrates what they have learned.”

Zuobin Tang is emblematic of how New York City’s educators are adapting to these unprecedented times on behalf of our students and families. We thank our educators for helping all of us stay #DOEconnected.

If your student needs a device, check out our “Need a Device for Remote Learning?” post, and visit our website to learn more about how the DOE is getting devices to our students.

The Morning Bell

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of over 1.1 million students across 1,800+ schools

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NYC Department of Education, 2019