Velma Thomas Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation, Chicago Style!

This week, my colleague Tanesha Peeples and I want to take a moment to shout-out a handful of the many Chicago teachers we know who are working their hearts out for students every day. Take Jessica Fong, preK teacher at Velma Thomas Early Childhood Center. When schools closed due to COVID-19, half of her preK students and families began taking…

Ms. Anderson Ryder

It’s Good to Appreciate Teachers; Now, Let’s Listen to Them.

This year, Teacher Appreciation Week has taken on a whole new dimension. With many states, including Illinois, now shuttered for the remainder of the school year, countless parents nationwide are looking ahead to months more of educating their own children at home. As families continue to struggle through this new reality, it’s clear teachers’ work is being appreciated now more…

woman teacher with male student

Digital Learning Will Never Replace Human Teachers

[Editor’s note: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of teachers and students.] Before the pandemic, I had so many wonderful opportunities to watch wise teachers make strategic, in-the-moment decisions to support students. Our ninth-grade English teacher, Ms. Watkins, is one of those wise teachers. Ms. Watkins has a glow about her that radiates to kids. Her warmth is…

Velma Thomas preschooler

Preschoolers Have the Least Access to Remote Learning

For years, most discussion of tech and young children’s learning has focused on whether screens are appropriate at all for preschoolers. But the pandemic and remote learning are forcing us to think differently about how electronic devices can help the youngest learners. I’m fortunate to know a local leader in creative use of technology with preschoolers. My friend Jessica Fong,…