Feature article on Mrs. Pelicano

Feature+article+on+Mrs.+Pelicano

By — Mia Parada

We can do anything. Humans we can do anything. We just would just like it if it was with a smile on our faces.” We caught up with Mary Pelicano, librarian at Tuscarora High School, who has put so many hours and love into Tuscarora, just like the rest of THS faculty and teachers. Pelicano has helped students keep their love of learning during this time by keeping the library open and working hard to lend a hand to students who need the library resources. Not only is she helping students but she is also trying to deal with this new normal. Just like the students, teachers are not having the best time with distance learning. 

“I miss being around the students,” Pelicano said when asked about what is so hard about distance learning. “Believe it or not that is why everyone becomes a teacher. Because they love the students.” However Pelicano knows that this is not easy for students. She understands that it can seem odd or intrusive sometimes. “I think they can turn on their cameras if you can. We are basically coming into each other’s houses, it’s weird. But turn on the blur background. Seeing my students faces is huge to me. Just to say hi.”  Pelicano knows that there are ways to interact and engage with students even if it is with your background blurred. Not only is it hard for students to do distance learning, but it can be just as hard for teachers during this time. 

I think they can turn on their cameras if you can. We are basically coming into each other’s houses, it’s weird. But turn on the blur background. Seeing my students faces is huge to me. Just to say hi.

Mrs. Pelicano

People who make their livelihood teaching have a reason for doing so. It’s because of students and the interpersonal relationships that are formed. Pelicano brings this fact to light when she said, “It’s a nightmare for teachers. Teaching is so much more than delivering content. A computer can do that. It’s so much more about a relationship. Removing that is not really what you signed up for. And it’s really hard. You still have to do all the hard stuff with none of the fun stuff.” Teachers really do love students and the relationships formed, however Pelicano says that there is much more to be learned from the situation at hand.

 “Going online is an opportunity to learn tech things, learn new things about technology and thinking out of the box.” Teachers along with faculty are learning new ways to innovate learning and keep students engaged. Teachers are in a rough spot, they are trying to create new ways to engage with students that’s also fun and interesting. Pelicano and other teachers can sympathize with students who are unengaged, they are learning just like students how to make this situation better. “We are always coming up with new ideas. It’s not just here it’s everywhere. Everyone is having the same challenges.”

Pelicano said this about how it is across the country, “You’re not the only one who’s students are not turning on the camera. It’s a whole societal thing, what the whole meaning of this is.” Pelicano knows that the Tuscarora faculty and teachers are not the only ones dealing with this. It’s across the country, everyone is dealing with the situation in different ways. However it should be noted that Tuscarora teachers are not going to wait this out, they are actively trying to improve the lives of students, in and out of the classroom.

Teachers are not just thinking of themselves either, when it comes to students Pelicano showed how much they care for us. “We really worry about that. The kids whose parents lost jobs, I hope we can find a way through this. I am hopeful this won’t be forever.” Pelicano is keeping a hopeful stance for the future and students should too. Pelicano is just one of the many teachers that are working hard to help students in any way possible. Teachers at Tuscarora, Loudoun County, and across the country are working hard to make the classroom better for students. Not only are Pelicano and other teachers at Tuscarora working hard at this, but they are struggling with this situation too. Next time you see a teacher in your classroom try to turn your camera on, use some tips Pelicano has brought up, ask your teacher how they are doing, and remember we are all in this together.