LAUSD teachers are now ‘televised educators’ during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Aviva Alvarez-Zakson, world history and ethnic studies teacher at Hamilton High School, attends the Rookie Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony in August 2019 at Dodgers Stadium. Photo courtesy of Aviva Alvarez-Zakson.

It’s been six months since public schools in LA shut down abruptly. On Friday, March 13, roughly 700,000 kids left school and haven’t returned. KCRW has been checking in with two LAUSD teachers, from the moment they heard about ending the 2019 academic year — to picking back up in the fall. Now in mid September, where do things stand for students and school staff, and what has everyone learned?

“This is my 16th year working with LA Unified. And I know myself and many other teachers feel like this is our first year teaching. All the tricks and tools we have accumulated up until this point are now pretty much obsolete. And we're starting from scratch,” says Kristie Collette, a third grade teacher at Newcastle Elementary in Reseda.

“The biggest adaptation I took was really leaning hard into this notion that I am a televised educator now, just really bringing forward that Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow type [of] energy, and trying to connect through a screen,” says Aviva Alvarez-Zakson, a world history and ethnic studies teacher at Hamilton High School.

Credits

Guests:
Kristie Collette - Third grade teacher at Newcastle Elementary School in Reseda, Aviva Alvarez-Zakson - World history and ethnic studies teacher at Hamilton High School

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel