Virtual learning with: Samantha Starcher, Lakewood teacher’s assistant and mother of two

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Samantha Starcher had just started working as a teacher’s assistant at her children’s school last year when COVID-19 forced a sudden end to the school year.

In fact, she had only worked a week at Lakewood before she and her third grader, Kaylee, and kindergartener, Aaron, made the switch to virtual learning.

It wasn’t easy.

Nor was it smooth sailing in September when classes resumed totally online because Aaron— now a precocious first grader— doesn’t like to sit still.

In fact, Starcher two weeks ago thought she would make the painful decision to quit the job she loved—supporting Lakewood students’ emotional/social needs from her new office in a dining room corner—because Aaron needed her even more.

After talking with Principal Eddie Latour, Starcher was relieved to know that support was available for students via other small group help or one-on-one interaction with another teaching assistant or intervention specialist, so she didn’t need to quit.

 “This is the way it is right now, and we can make it work,” she says. “But I really look forward to the day we’re all back in the buildings.”

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