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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.

Lonice Eversley, master teacher at Careers in Sports High School in the Bronx

“Organization is key. When students virtually enter our classrooms, there should be clarity around which relevant resources are available to students, and the specific content that they are being asked to build/create. I have found that it is important to provide space for students to engage in their own research and bring that learning back to the platform.”

Lonice Eversley teaching a seminar

In our current digital age, online resources for learning are plentiful and readily accessible–in fact, the sheer volume of options can sometimes feel pretty overwhelming! But educators like Ms. Eversley are helping students and families find order in the virtual chaos. The key, Ms. Eversley has said is to “differentiate resources, tasks, and feedback conversations,” and continue to “clarify when needed, and push and challenge when those are needed.”

Ms. Eversley has emphasized that the “best part about exclusively using the Google Classroom platform is the ability that I now have to very easily introduce a vast array of digital resources from YouTube.” Students also have the ability to tie digital content into their responses and analyses, as a way to demonstrate their deep understanding “in a show, don’t tell,” kind of way.

Students in Ms. Eversley’s class have also stepped up to “provide support to their peers through ‘inter-visitation’, where students who have mastered content can visit another class stream wall and push thinking in that space.” The inter-visitation strategy can be a great option to use in virtual classrooms, as it would never be possible in a traditional classroom setting.

While the lack of in-person engagement in virtual classrooms has made it difficult for teachers to read non-verbal cues to “assess gaps in learning, employ strategies on the spot, and correct misunderstanding,” educators have nonetheless continued to seek connections with students and fellow teachers. Careers in Sports High School teachers have been able to support one another “with exchanges of information, technical support and emotional support.” Ms. Eversley sees the online platform as a “wonderful opportunity to provide rich feedback” that provides space for students to grow “without being limited by bells.”

Lonice Eversley is a shining example 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!

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NYC Department of Education, 2019