FUHSD staff are sharing their stories and experiences during remote learning and the school closures with the community.
Anna Delgadillo, Assistant Principal's Secretary, Cupertino High School
Assistant Principal’s Secretary Anna Delgadillo spends her time during the school closures split between working remotely and on site at Cupertino High School. And while some people may enjoy the comforts of working from home temporarily, Mrs. Delgadillo finds herself looking forward to coming onto campus for face-to-face interaction and collaboration with her front office colleagues. She has been missing these interactions from before the campus closures, when a typical day involved countless individual student and family conversations. Now, she and her colleagues communicate regularly via a group chat so that they can brainstorm together and figure out the most efficient way to complete their tasks in this remote learning environment.
As a self-described outgoing and social personality, Mrs. Delgadillo prefers initiating a one-on-one conversation versus sending an impersonal email. However, in light of the closures, that is simply not an option. In order to keep connections strong, she has focused on weekly Zoom check-ins with students to chat, offer support and share some laughter and positivity in these difficult times. Mrs. Delgadillo says that in these last few months she has witnessed a newfound appreciation that students have for both their peers and the ‘Tino staff. She loves seeing students become advocates for one another and discover the true meaning of empathy as they grapple with the many difficulties brought on by the school closures.
As the wife of a sixth grade special education teacher, Mrs. Delgadillo must balance work responsibilities with her spouse’s instruction time and supporting her own child’s remote learning needs. Work and family time have blended together and internet bandwidth at home often struggles to keep up with the competing needs of all three family members. However, Mrs. Delgadillo noted that she has enjoyed being able to see her spouse’s teaching in action and her son during classroom instruction, two things she does not normally get to be a part of. She focuses on enjoying quality time with her son each night doing an activity of his choice, which is usually watching TikTok videos, recreating the clips and laughing until it hurts. Her love of reading has also provided an outlet, allowing her to get lost in a place where the COVID pandemic does not exist.
As she tells her students, these are not normal times and it is ok to be kind to oneself and not be disappointed if we cannot hold ourselves to the standards we were used to pre-pandemic. Mrs. Delgadillo says she has never been more proud to be a part of the CHS family, sharing that “The level of love and compassion I see daily reminds me of why I chose to work in education. To be around adults who make choices not only with their heads but also with their hearts allows me to see the good in these uncertain times.”
Dan Bacher, Science Teacher, Homestead High School
For Homestead High School science teacher Dan Bacher, the transition to remote learning has been one of the greatest challenges of his 13-year teaching career. While his wife works tirelessly on COVID-19 diagnostic testing in the lab of a local biotech company, Mr. Bacher is balancing curriculum development and remote learning with caring for his energetic two-year toddler during the school day. This delicate balancing act of juggling both professional and family needs has necessitated the shift of a great deal of lesson planning and grading to the evenings and weekends. And just as his son is missing his friends from daycare, Mr. Bacher misses the daily face-to-face interactions with his students and the ability to share the rich, hands-on science that he is so passionate about.
Mr. Bacher has found a silver lining in being pushed so abruptly out of his comfort zone as a teacher and compelled to discover new and unique ways of presenting material to his students. As an early adopter of Schoology, a learning management system FUHSD has been piloting over the course of the last year, Mr. Bacher has also had an opportunity to explore many of the advanced features that support remote learning that this new platform has to offer.
And when the workday is done, Mr. Bacher is grateful to step outside his home in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains, grab his mountain bike and maintain his connection to nature and some normalcy in these challenging times.