Alumni Feature: Emily

Since in-person classroom lessons began to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic weeks ago, educators across the country from preschool through the university level have turned to the internet as a new medium for instruction. Savin Hill resident Emily Gaylord, who works as a teacher’s aide at Saint Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy’s Lower Mills campus, has carved out a space on the web where she can continue, even expand, her role at the school.

Gaylord’s YouTube channel – titled ‘Ms. Gaylord’ – is filled with short video clips in which she leads sing-alongs, reads aloud from children’s books, and teaches crafting activities to SPJP2CA students. She said she anticipated the transition from classroom to digital instruction as the need to shut down schools to counter viral spread gradually became apparent weeks ago.

“On the day we found out the school was going to be shutting down, I took home a bunch of books from our curriculum,” explained Gaylord. “I’ve been reading two books a week, as well as singing songs the kids would enjoy.”

Singing and playing her ukulele is something Gaylord, an alumna of Boston City Singers, occasionally gets to do with students during dismissal time at the end of the school day. Now, she sees her ample at-home time as a chance to engage and entertain SPJ2CA kids with music, serenading them to the tune of “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Baby Shark,” and other fan favorites.

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