In his first year teaching, Coach Sheawn Bedford adjusting to virtual learning


Photo By: Mr. Cabrera

Coach Sheawn Bedford watches his players during the game against Wagner. Not only does he coach for the boys basketball team, but he is also a teacher of psychology.

Being a first-year teacher might be a nervous and exciting new journey for many, setting up your classroom, getting to know your students, fulfilling all the things you learned in college on how to be the best teacher you can be. 

However, specifically this year, the public health crisis has produced many challenges for first-year teachers, from not being able to connect, interact, and help the students physically to overwhelming stress in all directions. It has been difficult for some. However, one of our new first-year teachers has been able to adjust despite the hardships. 

First-year social studies teacher and assistant boys basketball coach Mr. Sheawn Bedford Jr. expected to teach for the first time in a classroom filled with students, with the ability to interact with them. He wanted to become the best teacher he can be for his students.

“Coming into the school year, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew this year would obviously be different from previous years at Judson. As a new teacher at Judson, I was hoping things would return back to normal, but teaching virtually is all I know at this point so I’m used to it. However, I would like for school to go back to normal at some point to have a better connection with the students,” Bedford said.

He eventually learned to adapt to a new way of education. As a graduate of Judson, coming back to what he knew was special. 

“I’m learning each and every day. As a graduate, class of 2012, it means a lot to me being back at a place that taught me so much as a kid,” Bedford said. “One thing that has surprised me this year is how welcoming and helpful the veteran teachers have been. Whenever I have questions or concerns, multiple people are always willing to help me. The support at Judson  is unmatched and I really appreciate it.”

Although with the help he is getting, every teacher goes through their own personal challenges, whether they are first-year or veterans. One of the biggest challenges Bedford is facing, like veteran teachers, is trying to connect with students.

“All the students aren’t on campus, so not seeing their faces with names on your class roster every day is a little challenging,” Bedford said. “I’m trying to find ways to connect with students through group activities on Zoom that will help show their personality a little. Honestly, my students have been doing a great job expressing themselves to myself and their classmates. It’s still a work in progress but the effort is there.”

Coach Sheawn Bedford coaches junior Christian Pillow during the game against Wagner. Not only does he coach for the boys basketball team, but he is also a teacher of psychology. (Photo By: Mr. Cabrera)

Although Bedford has been able to make teaching work for himself and his students, the staff has realized a major increase of students failing, especially those who stay at home. 

“Virtually learning has hindered some students’ grades in my class. I have students that try and do all their work but fail to log in to Zoom meetings daily and miss important content that I discussed. This hurts students on some of their quizzes and tests,” Bedford said.

Bedford hopes that as the school year continues students’ grades will get higher. However, not only is Bedford adjusting to teaching virtually but he has to take so many safety precautions just to be able to teach every day. 

“The kids in my class always have their masks on. For the most part, I do not have to remind them about wearing their mask. Teaching in person has been interesting. For example, sometimes I forget about my face to face kids and just focus on the kids on Zoom. This is something I’m trying to get better at to help improve the experience for my face to face kids,” Bedford said. 

Even though this year we have been going through hardships, new teachers stepped in such as Bedford ready to face anything that comes their way. It’s important we respect and recognize both veterans and first-year teachers for their hard work and dedication to be able to teach students, helping them succeed. 


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