After teaching remotely, Marlborough teachers thank supervisor

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After teaching remotely, Marlborough teachers thank supervisor
Photo by/Laura Hayes
Marlborough Public Schools remote teachers thanked Rupal Patel on May 19.

By Laura Hayes, Contributing Writer

MARLBOROUGH — Clad in black T-shirts reading “Teachers can do virtually anything,” Marlborough Public Schools remote teachers gathered May 19 to say “thank you” to Supervisor of Remote Learning Rupal Patel. 

The idea came from second-grade teachers Maura Jones and Erika Leger. 

“She’s been a great coordinator and leader for us,” Jones said. “We just wanted a way to show our appreciation.”

Jones and Leger sent an email to the kindergarten through fifth-grade remote staff to organize a group photo on the bleachers of 1LT Charles W. Whitcomb School. 

As Patel took her spot in the front, all of the teachers said, “Thank you.”

After teaching remotely, Marlborough teachers thank supervisor
Photo by/Laura Hayes
Marlborough Public Schools remote teachers thanked Rupal Patel on May 19.

“I was absolutely surprised and so grateful for this group of teachers,” Patel said.

Patel made the T-shirts for this group of about 25 teachers, who have been teaching fully remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While Jones and Leger’s home school is Francis J. Kane Elementary, the remote teachers taught students from all of Marlborough’s elementary schools. 

It was Patel’s job to coordinate between the teachers and administrators, to field phone calls from parents at all of the schools and to help teachers transition their curriculum from in-person to remote formats.

Patel also helped put the pieces of remote teaching together, like coordinating for students to pick up their devices and materials. 

After teaching remotely, Marlborough teachers thank supervisor
Photo by/Laura Hayes
Marlborough Public Schools remote teachers thanked Rupal Patel on May 19.

This was no easy task.

Typically, when a teacher starts at a new school or in a new grade, there are people who have already gone through the transition to help support that teacher.

“We were learning as we went. … I think that was probably the most challenging, that you had nobody who went through it before,” Leger said.

With support in numbers, all of the Marlborough remote teachers were going through it together this year. Along the way, they noted that students learned new skills that they typically wouldn’t get in the classroom, such as how to share their screens with their peers.

“As challenging as it may have been, there were a lot of positives too, and we grew, all of us, as educators in ways that we never would have imagined,” Leger said.

Patel credited the teachers, calling them hardworking, innovative, adaptive and resilient. 

“You deserve all of the applause and gratitude of being remote teachers,” Patel said. “Your kids really didn’t miss a beat this year.”