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School of Education Dean Sara Quay recently received an update from senior Allison Mulvey, who was forced to move her student teaching duties online due to school closures relating to the Coronavirus outbreak. But, despite some challenges, Mulvey embraced distance learning—and remote teaching—developing creative ways to communicate and engage with elementary-school students, while maintaining her own academic requirements.

Mulvey’s passion for teaching comes from the opportunity to create strong relationships with students. She especially loves working with elementary-aged students, as they are experiencing and discovering so many new things for the first time. The evidence that she chose the right career path is strong, because she looks forward to waking up every morning and working with her students. 

“I have had the most amazing practicum experience so far,” says Mulvey. “I am so disappointed to be losing out on some of my time with my students and not being able to see them….But, I’ve already found lots of ways to communicate with them, which has made me feel much better about the situation. I sent out an email to parents earlier this week, asking their permission to mail letters to their children. I immediately got responses and mailing addresses for almost all of my students. I mailed out their letters…and included a ‘long distance hug’ in each.”

Mulvey’s supervising practitioner (SP) added her as a co-teacher on SeeSaw, a communication app that the kids use throughout the year for messages, video watching, and announcements. 

“I sent out a video talking to them yesterday, and many of my students messaged me! One said, ‘I love you as much as I love my mom.’” Such a positive response is inspiring Mulvey to continue with videos, including reading stories to students through the app.

Allison Mulvey Practicum “I’m still really disappointed that I can’t physically be with them, but it’s amazing how many different ways we can connect,” says Mulvey. “I have a very close relationship with my SP and I’m in contact with her daily. I plan to continue working with her to connect with students online and maintain the relationships I’ve made with them.” 

Mulvey notes that she’s been lucky to work with so many supportive people during her student teaching placement. Advice, guidance, and support from the principal and her cooperating teacher truly helped her become more confident in her own teaching throughout the semester. She has the opportunity to attend administrative video meetings and school update sessions, as part of her own remote learning; and she plans on returning to on-site teaching as soon as the school reopens. She is grateful for the support of Dean Quay, Kristen DiGiovanni, and others at the Endicott College School of Education, and her SP at the local elementary school for their support in helping her complete her practicum this spring.