The 2020-2021school year has been like no other, with teachers everywhere rising to so many challenges in an ever-changing environment. Remote learning took hold just over one year ago, and has continued into the current school year. This shift required teachers to pivot multiple times to address the evolving landscape of pandemic teaching and learning. This month’s Featured Educator has been a beacon of excellence in meeting these challenges, supporting her students every step of the way. Described as “Superwoman”, Katelyn Rapoza has consistently demonstrated that she cares about her students in her remote lesson planning, as well as keeping her students focused during virtual meetings. Behind the scenes she offers all of her free time with extra meetings to help students who are struggling, answer the MANY questions from parents, and communicate with students directly as they complete each assignment.
Katelyn took on the role this school year as the remote 2nd grade teacher for both lower elementary schools in her district. The consolidation of the second grade remote students from the Hoyle and Gardner Elementary schools in Swansea was a necessary step in providing families with the choice of in person or remote learning for their children. Parents who were not familiar with Rapoza soon learned that she was a multitasking superhero who stops at nothing to ensure her students’ needs are met. Katelyn follows a timed structure between subjects each day, and checks in during Google Meets to ensure work is being done correctly. Described as a hands-on teacher, she explains new topics as though the students were in the classroom with her. Setting ground rules at the school start was just one key to her success. She paid great attention in making sure rules during virtual class meetings were followed, and demonstrated consistent remote classroom management to ensure a great learning experience for each student. One parent, who did not previously know Rapoza before this school year, shared their decision to have their student learn remotely with her. “To say we took a leap of faith is an understatement; and truth be told it was the BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE!”
When other teachers in the district learned that Katelyn would be the remote teacher for their students, they did not hesitate for a second to assure their parents that their child was in good hands. She is well known in the district as a teacher who works tirelessly for her students, and is not one to back down from a challenge. Taking on the task of being the only second grade remote teacher can certainly be isolating and lonely at times, but Katelyn never hesitates to greet her students with a smile on her face, and an engaging lesson to teach. Rapoza genuinely cares for her students, and her ability to make solid connections with them through a computer is a true testament to what a superhero teacher she is.
MassCUE is pleased to recognize Katelyn Rapoza as our May Featured Educator. Congratulations, and thank you for all you do!
Katelyn Rapoza graduated from Bridgewater State College with degrees in Elementary Education and English. Additionally, she holds a Master of Education degree from American International College in Educational Leadership. Katelyn has been teaching for 17 years and has a passion for education. She is happily married to her husband and has two daughters. She enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and everything Disney! Follow her on Twitter @kateducate0307