November MonSTAR Teacher of the Month pres. by WGU OhioDec 2, 2020
The Cleveland Monsters are proud to announce the second recipient of the MonStar Teacher of the Month presented by WGU Ohio for the 2020-21 season is Nicholas Lanese from Lander Elementary School.
Mr. Lanese is the school’s Elementary (K-8) P.E. teacher and always finds fun ways to teach healthy living habits and skills according to Principal Felecia Evans. Additionally, Mr. Lanese contributes new innovating teaching techniques including one lesson that Principal Evans enjoyed witnessing that involved virtual bugs. With bugs taking over the gym, Mr. Lanese mixed technology with physical activity allowing the children to run around while throwing balls to “squish” the bugs on the wall.
Following the announcement, Mr. Lanese took a moment to talk about the support he received this year as he faced a challenge of adapting physical education lessons for students who are remote.
How have you been adapting to teaching in a new way during these times and continuing to connect with the students?
It has been a team effort. The methods in which we use to develop our lessons for each class are done so with the need to be able to reach students that are learning in-person and virtual. It has been important to recognize that the at-home learners may need alternatives to be able to engage and perform in activities remotely. This school year, I have made connections with students in person and virtually via Zoom by making the lessons as interactive as possible and providing opportunities to engage all learners in sharing about themselves and their learning during activities.
What has been the most meaningful moment in your teaching career?
I don’t necessarily have a single most meaningful moment in my teaching career, but many small moments stand out to me. For instance, the times in which a family member of a student has sent a quick email saying thank you, or when a student has made it a point to tell me that he/she enjoys coming to class and learning. Those are the moments that are the most meaningful.
What is something you look forward to doing with your students every year?
I look forward to our field day event each school year. This is a day, usually in May, in which all students throughout the school participate in a variety of games and activities. Students really look forward to this event.
What is a way that has stood out in which you were supported or learned from your fellow teachers and how important is that support system especially in these times?
There have been so many times during this school year in which I was supported by colleagues, team members, and administrators. The district elementary physical education teachers and I have worked together to design lessons for students who are learning at school as well as those learning from a distance. Collaborating with them and sharing resources has been a great support for me this school year. Also, communicating with team colleagues from within my building has also helped to share best practice ideas and provide the best learning opportunities for students. Administration has been extremely supportive and has provided all staff with the necessary tools and safety considerations needed for this school year. Overall, it is essential to work together as a team, especially during these times.