A new teacher’s perspective on schooling and COVID-19

Back to School

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Students and teachers will have to adjust to the new normal once the school year picks back up in September, but for teacher’s entering their first year, they are just excited to get started and fulfill their dreams.

Matthew Sodano is a recent graduate of SUNY Oswego, and kick started his teaching career right at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I felt kind of prepared, but I also used it as a let’s try certain things and see what works and what doesn’t work, so that way when this is all over, if something works, I’m just going to keep to it,” Sodano said.

As a high school physics teacher in Jefferson County, he’s going to need to stick with that mentality moving into the fall, seeing what works and what doesn’t.

Carthage High School’s reopening protocol is a hybrid plan, for both in-person and online learning. 

Sodano said, “I think it’s perfect for science teachers, 100%, because like I said, I can do notes while the students are at home. I can do it on a video, send it to them and then have them take notes. And then in person, I can focus on labs, class work, tests and all that… so it’s kind of a flipped classroom, but a forced flipped classroom, because that’s what we’re dealing with.”

Sodano also understands the struggles and concerns of his colleagues, parents and students, but he’s optimistic for what he hopes to be a successful school year.

“We’re all struggling through this together, both students and teachers alike, and really everyone alike too, so just being able to be another support system for a kid is huge,” Sodano said. “I think if I have the energy and passion with it, the kids definitely will, and if I can make it interesting to them, they’re going to like it even more.”

Fulfilling his longtime career dream in an unconventional but gratifying way.

For more information on reopening plans for schools in Central New York, click here.


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