August 21st, 2020

Teachers are the experts at PBS Summer Zoom series

CoronavirusEducationHealthOnline LearningSocial StudiesU.S.


This summer, NewsHour EXTRA kicked off a weekly Summer Teacher Zoom Series of teacher chats to talk through issues of uncertainty, concern and hope for teachers across the country. This series has taken up a timely new topic every week, from teaching in quarantine and preparing for back to school to teaching the Black Lives Matter movement and physical education in the age of coronavirus. Each week features guest speakers along with our host, Sari Beth Rosenberg.

Some weeks of our Summer Zoom Series chats have been recorded in full, and links to those sessions below under summaries. Other webinars have not been recorded for privacy reasons, though clips from debriefs with hosts and guests are also available below.

Be on the lookout for more updates and more Educator Voices on reopening this fall!  


Teaching in the Age of Quarantine 

Our first Zoom Series chat on July 8 featured teacher Juan Campos and psychiatrist Dr. Gary Rosenberg and covered health and mental wellness concerns for teachers in the age of quarantine. Teachers were concerned about making space and time for self-care when there was so much extra attention and care needed by their students. 

In this clip, teacher Juan Campos describes the importance for teachers to form their own support networks and practice self-care if they want to be able to support their students in difficult times.


What Will Safe Reopening Look Like?

For our second Zoom Series chat, which took place July 15, we invited STEM/Engineering teacher Doug Scott to talk about things teachers can do to make potential in-class learning safer for teachers, students and staff alike. Teachers were concerned about safety as well as confusing and inconsistent messaging from state and local education authorities. 

In this clip, host Sari Beth Rosenberg explains that teacher fears and concerns existed outside politics, with little mention of national policy and great concern about the gritty details of each school district’s and each individual school’s reopening plans.


Teaching Black Lives Matter

On July 22, we hosted a Zoom chat on the topic of Black Lives Matter and teaching students who may be confused or traumatized by news stories of police killings and civil rights protests. This talk featured historian and professor Dr. Yohuru Williams, social worker Monica Belton and civics teacher Ricky House. In the clip below, Dr. Williams discusses connecting current events to historical civil rights movements. 

You can watch the full Zoom chat here!


Health and Physical Education in the Age of COVID-19

One of our most-attended sessions of the summer took place on August 5 and covered the critical role of physical education and health in times of COVID-19. The chat featured guests historian and educator Dr. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela and P.E. teacher Andrea Vargas. In the clip below, Vargas describes some of the work she’s doing in figuring out ways to provide physical education via remote learning. 

You can watch the full Zoom chat here!


How are Teachers Feeling with School Reopening Imminent?

On August 12, we again turned to the topic of school reopening. This session featured guest teacher Nicholas Ferroni and psychiatrist Dr. Gary Rosenberg. Teachers expressed deep concern about their own safety and worked through how to best communicate concerns to school families, education authorities and the public.

In this first clip, Ferroni characterizes the ways teachers he’s spoken to describe their confusion about being supported for their work in the spring and chastised as selfish for their concerns over the fall.

And in this clip from the debrief, Dr. Rosenberg talks about the ways teachers can manage the stress surrounding reopening and the uncertainty woven in to every decision they must make this fall.


On the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, How Should Teachers Teach Suffrage?

On August 19, we met to discuss teaching suffrage, voting rights and the 19th Amendment to mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. We discussed the many serious challenges that kept women of color from voting and voting rights today and how teachers could explore suffrage and civil rights movements to contextualize civil rights movements today. 

This clip features hosts debriefing the conversation and discussing the ways early civil rights leaders worked together, fought and built on each other’s progress, and how we can study the early struggle for voting rights to understand some of the struggles for equal rights today.

You can watch the full Zoom chat here!

If you would like to contribute to Educator Voice, please send your idea to Victoria Pasquantonio at For teaching resources on Election 2020, sign up here.

Read more of Sari Beth Rosenberg’s “Teaching in the Age of Coronavirus” blog series here.

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