California Educator

August/September 2021

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Page 56 of 75

What You Said We asked you to tell us your pandemic silver lining and your unsung hero, after publishing just such stories in our June/July issue. And we asked what's on your mind as the new school year starts. Here's what you said. What's on my mind As I reflect on the past 15 months, I am grateful that so many of my colleagues, administrators, parents and students recognized the importance of physical education. As a PE teacher, I have seen it overlooked in many ways throughout the years, including students being taken out of class for numerous reasons because, hey, it's just PE, right? PE has always taught the importance of mental and physical health (something we all needed to concentrate on while in remote learning) through an SEL lens. My hope is that California continues to support and honor the important work that PE educators do every day for all our students. PATRICK DALEY, Palos Verdes Faculty Association I L I V E I N Rancho Palos Verdes. After retiring in 2005, I continued my love of teaching math by tutoring. Shortly after the pandemic hit, my husband of 62 years was diagnosed with coronavirus and died. I was heartbroken, but when I got a call in August 2020 to tutor an honors geometry student, I bought a docu- ment camera and jumped on Zoom. Those tutoring sessions, engrossed in helping that boy, were my happiest times amid sadness. The student I was tutoring later revealed that his honors geometry teacher had left and the class was struggling with substitutes. I decided to help and applied to be an occasional substitute in the district, knowing classes would be online and safe. During the last three months of school, when partial in-person classes were starting, the district again needed a long-term substitute (the fifth) for the math teacher who had left. Administra- tors found a creative solution by hiring math teacher JoAnne Myers, who had recently moved to the area, to teach online, and hiring me to be the in-class teacher. (For health reasons she could not come into the classroom.) Together, JoAnne and I went on a crusade to motivate those stu- dents. Some had given up. Many were failing. JoAnne met privately with students, enlisted parents, and posted extra videos of math problems and solutions. I supported her in the classroom and provided homework and test solutions for her to post online; students had to complete missed home- work and tests. At semester 's end, almost all the students passed. JoAnne said, "I couldn't have done it without Pat's help." For me, it was a thrill to work with a most excellent and truly caring teacher. I learned some amazing tech skills from JoAnne. We were a great combi- nation. DOROTHY "PAT" BREWSTER CTA/NEA-Retired My Silver Lining Aakanksha Panwar/Unsplash Continued on page 56 55 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 21 CTA & You Pat Brewster

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