After a year of remote learning, students and teachers returned to classrooms amid a flurry of public discourse. Political leaders and media outlets have dropped phrases like “learning loss,” “social and emotional wellbeing,” and “new federal funding.” But we rarely hear directly from teachers or students about what it’s like to be in the classroom. So we wanted to pass the virtual mic to our school partners.

Student and educator perspectives are an incredibly valuable resource as we work toward educational transformation. This panel, hosted by WriteBoston in October 2021, brought together students and teachers from three schools across Massachusetts. They shared the challenges they faced last year, and whats been difficult about returning to classrooms. And they talked about the changes they’d like to see in their own schools.

The video above is a recording of a webinar hosted by WriteBoston and aired on Thursday, October 21, 2021. The event includes an unmoderated conversation between teachers and students in Boston and Worcester, followed by a brief Q&A with questions from audience members.

Panelists include:

  • Mike, a Computer Science teacher at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School
  • Ace, a senior at Madison Park and a student of Mike’s
  • Ms. M-L, a 12th grade English and English as a Second Language teacher at Boston International Newcomers Academy (BINcA)
  • Mackenley, a senior at BINcA and a student of Ms. M-L’s
  • Kristen, a 12th grade English and ESL teacher at BINcA
  • Armely, a second-year teacher at Worcester East Middle School
  • Emily, junior at South High Community School in Worcester
  • Sarah Poulter, WriteBoston Executive Director and event host