Sarah Breslin '12 is an assistant principal at Success Academy Ditmas Park Middle School. She shared her perspective on education during COVID-19.

I fell in love with teaching soon after I graduated from Trinity. Now as an assistant principal, I get to help middle schoolers figure out how to solve problems and use their own agency as they grow into young adults.

When our schools needed to completely shift gears in response to COVID-19, I knew my team would have to collaborate more closely than ever to make remote learning successful. As always, adult preparation is the key to student learning, especially when we have less time and contact with our students — we have to make every (virtual) second count!

Sarah Breslin ’12 with two of her students

Our first priority was to try to preserve at least some of the comforting routines for our students, as well as the joyful moments and shared laughs that makeup so much of the day in the classroom. We’re not trying to pretend that everything is normal, but my goal as an assistant principal is to make things go as smoothly as possible for the teachers so that they can focus on supporting the students. The basics of teaching hold true even in remote learning, and it all starts in lesson planning and strong questioning. My role hasn’t changed drastically in this regard; I still meet with teachers to coach them in their delivery of a lesson and to help them find new methods for effective remote classroom management. We’re all adjusting quickly and picking up any new moves as we go!

It’s sometimes difficult to lead and plan ahead when we don’t know when remote learning will end, but we still have our promise to kids and families to uphold. We are constantly reflecting and tinkering with our approach so that we can deliver our personal best to students because that’s what they deserve.

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