November 7, 2020
"I love learning and have been inspired by the incredible teachers I had growing up in Howland, ME.”
Linda Descoteaux, Biddeford Middle School 8th grade math teacher, says her passion and inspiration for teaching derived from her English teacher, Ms. Merrithew (sp. check), who she’d had for all 4 years of high school. “She was so engaging,” Linda said. “She pushed her students really hard, but she made learning really fun and engaging. She had a way of making books come alive and she changed her curriculum yearly.”
When covid hit, the challenges at the beginning were daunting. Rather than be overcome, the school district worked hard to come up with a plan that would keep students as safe as possible while providing an engaging hybrid model of education. “It was tough at the beginning, but the students were so excited to be back in school this Fall. Despite masks and social distancing, the students want to be here,” Linda said.
Smaller class sizes have allowed teachers to still provide students the attention they need, and students that zoom in remotely are provided that attention as well. Linda hopes that the playing field remains even for remote and classroom learning. She’s also noticed some positive changes from the impacts of covid and said, “the group of kids in my classroom are tight - we have lunch together, they sanitize their desks - they’re looking to take care of each other. For example, something as simple as borrowing a pencil has turned into them thinking about sanitizing that pencil from student to student. It’s remarkable. I have also noticed a huge increase in inclusion, it’s incredible. I’ve found myself smiling at my desk because these students are impressive and resilient.”
Echoing many other teachers, Linda’s hope is that things stay as stable as possible for as long as possible with safety first and foremost.
Thank you Linda, for being the #HeartAndSoulOfTheCommunity! For more Heart & Soul stories, please visitsbsavings.bank/heart-and-soul