IT Infrastructure

High School Teacher Battling Cancer Skypes His Lessons

By McClatchy-Tribune — June 15, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

About once every three weeks, Brother James Kelly didn’t feel well enough to teach because of the chemotherapy he was receiving to fight his prostate cancer.

Yet instead of giving the 28 students in his third-period honors British literature class at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore a day off, some busywork, or a substitute teacher, Kelly utilized Skype, a software application that allows for real-time videoconferencing.

“I get to sit while it’s going, so I’m not exerting as much energy as I might if I were in the classroom walking around,” says Kelly. “I see the kids so I can watch the classroom dynamic.

“It’s different,” says Kelly, who also is president of the all-boys Catholic high school, “but I think I’m still able to engage them.”

On the first day of class, juniors Robert Stryjewski and Brent Hartley remembered walking into the classroom and seeing Kelly’s image projected onto a 4-by-6-foot whiteboard.

“It was a bit weird at first because it was different than anything we’ve ever had before,” Stryjewski says. “After a few times of him doing it, it got to be a normal everyday class, basically.”

Hartley agrees.“The first day was kind of awkward just because you have to speak really loud because there’s a speaker in the middle of the classroom,” Hartley says. “After a couple of weeks, I got used to it.”

Even without a teacher present, Kelly says the students don’t often act out.

“The kids are very aware of what I’m going through,” says Kelly, who has been at the school 10 years. “They don’t give me grief. They wouldn’t get away with it if they tried.”

Mary Ellen Dolan, Kelly’s administrative assistant, watches the students in the room and will write things on the board when Kelly needs to show something.

Having the ability to see each other was important to Kelly. “I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to see them,” he says. “If I couldn’t see them, I wouldn’t be able to teach them.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 15, 2011 edition of Digital Directions as High School Teacher Battling Cancer Skypes His Lessons

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

IT Infrastructure School Districts Seek Billions in New Federal Money for Connectivity, FCC Announces
The Federal Communications Commission received $5.1 billion in requests for new funding to purchase devices and improve internet access.
2 min read
Image shows two children ages 5 to 7 years old and a teacher, an African-American woman, holding a digital tablet up, showing it to the girl sitting next to her. They are all wearing masks, back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
IT Infrastructure School District Data Systems Are Messed Up. A New Coalition Wants to Help
Organizations representing states and school districts have teamed up with ISTE to help make data systems more user-friendly and secure.
3 min read
Conceptual collage of arrows, icon figures, and locks
Sean Gladwell/Moment/Getty
IT Infrastructure More Families Have Internet Access. So Why Hasn't the Digital Divide Begun to Close?
A new study says low-income families’ access to the internet has soared in the past six years. But there are other barriers to connectivity.
3 min read
Glowing neon Loading icon isolated on brick wall background. Progress bar icon.
Mingirov/iStock/Getty Images Plus
IT Infrastructure Remote and Hybrid Learning Are Declining. But the 'Homework Gap' Will Still Be a Problem
Schools are returning to in-person instruction, but students' connections to the internet at home remain spotty.
2 min read
Sam Urban Wittrock, left, an advance placement World History Teacher at W.W. Samuell High School, displays a wifi hot spot that are being handed out to students in Dallas on April 9, 2020. Dallas I.S.D. is handing out the devices along with wifi hotspots to students in need so that they can connect online for their continued education amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
Sam Urban Wittrock, left, an Advanced Placement World History Teacher at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, displays one of the Wi-Fi hotspots that were given to district students during the pandemic.
Tony Gutierrez/AP