By Emily Drooby
At first, school teacher Patricia Cavera was tepid about technology. But she did a complete 360 this year and is now tackling technology for one reason: her students.
For 25 years, Patricia taught in Catholic schools. She’s also a product of Catholic school education herself. At her current school, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy in Astoria, Queens, she’s beloved.
Patricia’s principal says she was always iffy about technology, until the pandemic hit. It was already a difficult year.
“I think everybody felt it, especially the children that are experiencing this,” Patricia said.
Patricia knew she needed to step up and learn more about technology for the sake of her students. So, she did.
She learned how to use the school’s virtual whiteboard system. That meant she could seamlessly teach students in two different classrooms, as well as virtually.
Even with the personal face-to-face time split in half, students still felt like they can rely on her.
One of her students, Hudson Joseph Geiger, said she helps him understand how to do his work.
“She’s going to be there, teaching me, helping me when I need it,” Hudson said, “and I don’t have to worry too much if I make some mistakes, because she will help me understand.”
Her tenacity and drive makes her an inspiration to fellow teachers like Nicole Biscaglia.
“Nothing seems to frazzle her, nothing seems to phase her. She’s always very calm and composed, the way she speaks and talks to the kids and parents,” Nicole said. “That’s a trait that every teacher wants to have and I hope to have that one day.”
What fuels Patricia? That this isn’t just a job.
“I’m blessed to be here,” Patricia said, “because it doesn’t feel like work.”