In partnership with eSchool News, Illuminate Education is spotlighting teachers in a series recognizing educators, the way they have moved instruction online during COVID-19, and how they have prioritized the needs of their students.

Gloria Makosy
Special Education Teacher
Watkins Mill High School
Montgomery County Public Schools

“We’re going to get through this together. I just want to give my students some reassurance and peace of mind right now.”

How are you moving to a remote learning model?

A special ed teacher goes the distance to stay connected to her students

Well, I already had Google Classroom in place to use for my Resource classes. When we were in school, Mondays and Fridays were usually mental health check-in days to see how they were doing, how they were feeling, and if there was anything I could help them with (personally or academically). Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays were the days when we’d practice writing CERs and review their grades to construct a game plan on how to complete missing assignments. As part of their Weekly Reflection, they’d write a sentence using the SAT Word of the Day to demonstrate their understanding of the word.

Related content: Learn how this NYC teacher moved his class online

I liked using Google Classroom to provide students the opportunities to work on these assignments from home, in case they had other assignments to work on during our time together that they needed 1:1 support from me, or if they just needed a mental break on one of those days. Now with remote learning, I’m not so worried about those things. I don’t need them to be worried about the Word of the Day or writing their CERs because I know there’s a lot going on in their other classes, and it’s overwhelming for them. I’m more here to be a mental health outlet for them now.

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About the Author:

This article is part of an ongoing Teacher Spotlight series that is created in partnership with Illuminate Education.


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