In my career, I’ve worked with educators from all over North America, England, China, Australia, Singapore and Turkey. While at times it’s easy and important to see and appreciate the differences, there usually comes a point when you realize teachers are teachers and it’s generally quite comforting.

The opportunity to work with teachers from Guam over the past 5 months during what is arguably going to be referenced as a historical disruption has been a joy. There’s something about the remoteness of the island that relates very much to other educators in rural areas of Canada and the US. Most often they are very appreciative of anyone who notices them and takes an interest in their work. This was certainly true in this case. During each webinar as well as the online community, the gratitude that was shown by the teachers from Guam made our coaching so easy. Their willingness to learn, share and ask questions, tells you a great deal about them as teachers.

When the pandemic hit, I was worried they might lose interest in the work. But this didn’t seem to slow them down. I recall the first webinar after the world changed at the end of March and was blown away by the number of people that showed up.

While there were many individual connections made I suppose the most satisfying was with one of the teacher-librarians, Solange Prudente. She, along with many other teacher-librarians, was eager to implement new ideas to support her teachers. She seemed like the perfect person to chat with about her life in Guam and the way in which Covid-19 had an impact on education.

While I appreciated learning about their food, culture and island life in general, it was delightful to know these educators love their students and the role they play in their lives.

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Dean Shareski

Dean Shareski is an author, educator, speaker and coach. He taught K-8 for 15 years as well as 8 years as Technology Coordinator in Canada. He has supported the PLP network at various times over the past decade. He also served supported Community Engagement and Principals for Discovery Education throughout North America. He has over 12 years of experience in online instructional design and teaching. Working, teaching, learning and living online gives Dean a unique perspective at this moment in time.
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