Dublin Schools Connection: The necessary, possible and impossible are all in a day's work for teachers

Stu Harris
Guest columnist

The year 2020 was a very difficult year for our Dublin City Schools community. 

In less than one week in March, our teachers had to gather their books and materials and teach from home because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Then, after a tumultuous summer during which this nation revisited and condemned the immoralities and depravities of racism, our teachers began teaching in the buildings in person during hybrid mode and remotely.

Stu Harris is a member of the Dublin City Schools board.

The Dublin school board always has known that our teachers work every day to provide students with world-class instruction, a well-rounded education and continuously improve in everything we do.

Now we know that our teachers can do the necessary, the possible and the impossible, all in a day’s work.

Above and beyond the call of duty describes our staff members, custodians, maintenance workers and bus drivers, too. These team members are committed to excellence. They clean the buildings 24 hours a day, and our bus drivers delivered meals to hungry families throughout the pandemic.

In addition, our coaches delivered on protocols, and student athletes played.

We also know that our student resource officers always are there for us.

Moreover, think about the great teachers from books and movies: We have those same teachers here in Dublin.

From "The Magic School Bus,” we have our own inspirational Ms. Frizzle, transforming classes into a magic school bus. We have teachers like Sidney Poitier in "To Sir, with Love," who after several setbacks, reaches the pinnacle of teaching: enjoyment and fulfillment. We have our Robin Williams-like teachers from “Dead Poets Society,” motivating students.

Our equivalent teachers include icole Wasosky, who produces virtual materials for her Remote Learning Academy students by creating an entire Hall of Learning. This is an interactive, dynamic, visual representation of the classroom.

And they include Nicole Terbeek, who when a student was sad about not being in school, made a special video just to cheer her up. When the student’s parent had trouble explaining division, Terbeek sent a video explaining it with easy-to-understand math strategies so her parents were able to help at home.

From around the district, amazing work is taking place.

Wyandot Elementary School has its Crochet Club and the Amazing Paper Airplane Extravaganza contest.

At Riverside Elementary School, third-graders got creative on a writing project titled "If I Were Trapped in a Snow Globe."

Meanwhile, at Dublin Coffman High School, a New York City jazz trio gave a live virtual discussion and performance with band members.

And over the Holidays, a teacher and future candidate at "The Great British Bake Off" baked cookies for all of her students to decorate. COVID-19 did not stop the teacher – she delivered all 25 boxes to their homes.

The most inspirational story this year involves Scottish Corners Elementary School teacher Jill Hurto.

Hurto, a second-grade teacher, found an unconscious parent in the parking lot, revived him, helped him home and then called the EMTs just in time to save him from the effects of a pulmonary embolism. This is truly inspirational. Look for it on Dublin City Schools' You Tube account: "Inspirational Story from Scottish Corners."

Rather than being disheartened, divided or drained, our teachers responded to the challenge in an innovative and pioneering fashion. Our culture is to embrace the positive, and we are drawing on the resilience and grit of our teachers and staff. 

Thank you, teachers, for a year that will make a difference.

Stu Harris is a member of the Dublin City Schools board.