Delivering on the PLTW Promise During Uncertain Times: PLTW Teachers Lean Into Network of Support

We know the critical need to empower students to thrive in our evolving world, but that need has come front and center as our country responds to COVID-19. PLTW Teachers and students are rapidly transitioning to distance learning environments, and while many are grappling with the impacts of working remotely, this new normal hasn’t stopped our PLTW network from seeing needs in the community and using knowledge and skills to address them. Now more than ever, thank you to our PLTW family for using your communication, collaboration, critical- and creative-thinking, and problem-solving skills to lead the way through this evolving situation.

Corey Duzan wears many different teacher hats as he leads students through PLTW’s hands-on applied learning in PLTW Introduction to Engineering Design at Lockport Township High School, because he also leads fellow teachers through that same learning process as a PLTW Master Teacher.

“Adult learning is my thing, teaching teachers,” Duzan said.

Seemingly immediately after his school, as well as schools across the nation, began closing buildings and moving to distance learning, he gathered fellow PLTW Master Teachers together for support. They began curating resources, such as Google Docs, YouTube videos, and tips and tricks to keep students on track remotely.

“It has been so inspiring to see this take off,” he said. “It’s the most challenging time for teaching, but it is so cool to see everyone collect and share these resources.”

Duzan and other teachers use a variety of platforms, including myPLTW, to connect and support each other. While these platforms have always been available, he feels like he’s connecting with even more teachers now.

“Everyone knows we’re in the same boat,” he said. “I had known some of these names for years, but now we we’ve met ‘face-to-face,’ and it’s been fun to watch that. People are very willing to share whatever information they have, and PLTW Community just exploded overnight with materials. Everyone is opening the doors to whatever they have.”

Outside of serving his students and supporting fellow teachers, Duzan is part of the league of PLTW Teachers creating personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals. So far, Duzan estimates he has provided more than 250 ear-savers and 20 face shields, and as more people learn about what he’s doing, he continues to be connected with healthcare providers in need of his solution.

“It feels so good to drop that off for people,” Duzan said. “Word travels faster than I thought. I ran into a police officer, explained what I was doing, and he had heard about it. The nurses at first were in shock and then realized how much it would help. We’re growing so fast, because the word has gotten out, and even the kids are excited.”

Duzan is inspired by what he has seen his teacher peers and his students accomplish during this evolving situation.

“I wasn’t sure how this was all going to go, but as a teacher, you just get creative,” he said. “What is so inspiring is so many teachers saw the situation and had a game plan almost immediately, and the kids didn’t skip a beat. It’s been the most interesting time to teach, but it’s been so fun to watch and see what people are pulling together to deliver to our kids.”