While many of Brooklyn’s public and charter school students faced the struggles of remote learning this past year, so did those studying to become teachers themselves at higher education institutes such as St. Francis College, Touro College, Long Island University, Medgar Evers College, and Brooklyn College.
“I’m so surprised, as all the faculty are, by their resilience,” says Marina Gair, the Education Department Chairperson at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. “They had to quickly turn what was a traditional face-to-face experience into a fully online, remote teaching experience. Every single one of them was successful. I was both surprised and proud of them.”
“Overall, they did pretty well,” says Rupam Saran, who is the Chair of the Multicultural Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights. “They did pretty well in all their assignments. There were one or two students who had loss, family trauma. But despite that, I would say they did excellent.”
Preparing the next generation of teachers during a pandemic might have been a challenge for these professors, but what seems to have helped was that these would-be teachers were determined to complete their degrees. None of the colleges Bklyner got in contact with reported any students dropping out of the program or changing their majors. Instead, these colleges say their education students not only saw the academic needs of the primary and secondary school students but also their emotional and mental needs.