Halfway Through

As we hit the midpoint of the school year, local educators share their thoughts on what’s working.

For most, December marks the end of the year, but for those in education, it’s only the halfway point of the school year.

For educators, the end of the calendar year presents an opportunity to find out what’s been working and see if any lessons can be applied to the future. This is especially true this year, the first “normal” school year since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person classes in March 2020.

Local educator Sam Kane, creative writing teacher and chair of the English department at Frederick Douglass High School, said he’s altered the way he delivers his lessons to his students.

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“Students must be taught in the manner in which they receive information,” Kane said. “For this generation, they receive short, bite-sized chunks via social media and news apps (where they only read the headlines, let’s be honest), so my teaching must also be divided into individual sections and checks or understanding.”

Kane said he’s also seen phone usage among his students as almost an addiction, especially after the pandemic.

“Young people were separated from their peers during their most social years, with only technology to keep them connected,” Kane said, “so it makes sense that they are having a hard time letting it go for in-person school.”

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Tony Cook, director of communications, marketing and public relations at Delgado Community College, echoed Kane’s reflections.

“The pandemic taught me, and many others working in higher education, that we must ensure that students are provided an opportunity to learn in the environment that best fits their personal goals and lifestyle,” he said. “That might be a completely online class, a class taught completely in person, or a hybrid of these delivery methods.”

That realization is part of the reason why Delgado now offers 25 associate degree and certificate programs entirely online — everything from accounting to criminal justice to website design — while still teaching in-person classes at their seven campuses in the New Orleans region daily, including evenings and weekends.

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And that commitment is what Cook said keeps him excited about the job.

“Many times, students enroll in college not fully comprehending the vast array of educational and career opportunities available to them,” he said. “Seeing them gain the self-awareness and self-confidence that come with succeeding in coursework related to their personal interests makes me feel great.”

Perspectives Education Mcneely Stanton

Starting this fall semester without a COVID surge and a hurricane is a welcome opportunity for the University of Holy Cross to move forward with key strategic initiatives to meet the needs of students and the community in healthcare, education, business, mental health counseling and food science.

Dr. Stanton McNeely, president, University of Holy Cross

Perspectives Education Samkane

Sam Kane

Creative Writing Teacher and Chair of the English Department
Frederick Douglass High School

Don’t forget the moment during the pandemic when parents realized just how much work it is being a teacher. Especially during parent-teacher conferences.

Perspectives Education Tonycook

Tony Cook

Director of Communications, Marketing and Public Relations
Delgado Community College

I would like to see more people taking advantage of the opportunities higher education provides. I’m a living example of what Delgado and college in general can do for an individual who is motivated to learn and grow.


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