History at Home: One Teacher’s Transition to Working Away From School

History at Home: One Teacher’s Transition to Working Away From School

Alan Mathew, News Editor

How a 4-month-old puppy and staying organized keep Ms. Janelle Alongi afloat.   

    For Ms. Janelle Alongi, a history and economics teacher here at Charter, teaching from home is a new and not so amazing challenge. As a Charter alum herself, Ms. Alongi’s first year back as an official teacher was an exciting experience, full of new students and a classroom of her own. Now, with a pandemic hanging over the world and keeping most of us home, Canvas and email have become the sole source of student interaction.

  As for her classroom, quiet is the new norm, and that’s only when she gets to visit it at all to pick something up. “[Teachers] love being in the classroom with our students, and we feed off that energy,” Ms. Alongi began. “Seeing our students is one of our bright spots, and that’s been reduced to just one Zoom call every once in a while. We feel helpless now because we can’t be there in person to tell when something’s off and help our students.” Adapting, however, still remains a priority.

  While the current situation is far from perfect, Ms. Alongi made it clear that along with any stress or anxiety she’s been feeling, she also feels grateful. To have a roof over her head and a job is a source of unique comfort in this uniquely discomforting time. At the same time, Ms. Alongi is actively working to keep herself as healthy as she can—mentally as well as physically.

  “Before [I started setting a better schedule], I was constantly working 12-14 hour a day. I’ve been getting outside a bit more, even just for drives. I got a new puppy, Molly, before all this began; she’s been helping a lot. Another big part has been my antidepressants, which along with everything else helps me function as close to my best as possible.” As with all of her words, Ms. Alongi speaks with a quiet strength. While her humor is a big part of it, it seems clear that Ms. Alongi is doing what she knows she can and more.

  From her weekly training and meetings —”to help make sure we’re using all the technology as fully as we can for you all”— to her visible care for her students, Ms. Alongi is doing her best to adapt. Truly speaking, knowing she continues to put in so much effort is a testament like none other to the dedication of a remarkable teacher.