Joelle Pizzano

Taking 5 to connect
Posted on 01/04/2021
Taking 5 to connect

I am proud of connecting with my students and getting to know them and their interests. I was worried in September that I wouldn’t be able to get to know my students this year in this unconventional school environment. I made it a personal goal to try to connect with each and every one of them and make them feel seen and included. Seeing them smile and laugh on Zoom gives me the confidence I need when I sometimes feel down.


I usually reserve about the first 5 minutes or the last 5 minutes of each of my classes to tell a funny story or get the students talking about something non-school related. That is sometimes the only time that I hear some of their voices. Some still prefer to write in the chat, but at least they are contributing to the discussion. I used to worry that parents in the background would think that I am wasting class time, but it is honestly the highlight of my day, and some of my students expressed loving those moments in class as well. I hope the parents can appreciate that I am trying to make school a little more “normal” and give the children the smiles and laughs that they need more than ever. Everything else in the day can fall apart, but if our fun discussions at the beginning or end of class make their day, then that is what they will remember most about this difficult year. That is what makes me most proud.


- Joelle Pizzano,
Brearley High School social studies teacher 

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