Educating & COVID-19: The love that we have for our students is shining brighter than ever!

WVEA is made up of extraordinary education professionals like you who continually find creative and innovative ways to teach our students. Meet a few of your WVEA colleagues as they share thoughts on successfully navigating teaching during a pandemic. All are national board certified and Sherry Paull is a former teacher of the year.

Name: MeriBeth C. Underwood
Local: Raleigh County Education Association
School: Woodrow Wilson High School
Subject: AP English Language & Composition/English 11 Career
Length: 19 years


Strive to make remote learning assignments different in delivery, expectations and standards in comparison to in-person learning. These two learning environments are simply not the same. It is not the amount of work that should be important, but rather the quality of the assignment. I like to think of my teaching as ‘scuba diving’ through skillsets rather than ‘high-diving’ through them. I want my students to internalize their learning, but I also want my students to have time to be children and spend time with their families outside of school during these difficult times.

Name: Mark Fisher
Local: Marion County Education Association
School: Monongah Elementary
Subject: Title I – primarily in 3rd and 4th grades
Career Length: 12 years


Remember that you are a professional. Don’t lean into standardized assessments, lean into your knowledge of your students. Lean into observation and running records. Lean into their social/emotional needs. Take a deep breath and meet them where they are.

Name: Michelle Taylor
Local: Hardy County Education Association
School: East Hardy High School
Subject: High School ELA – specifically English 10, English 12, Dual Credit 101/102, and Creative Writing
Career Length: 12 years


This is the perfect time to model three essential skills for students: compassion, flexibility, and grace. There are many things educators cannot control right now, but we can be a stable and kind presence in our students’ lives. I am working to honor students’ experiences during this turbulent time and help them find a voice through their writing.

Name: Sherry Paull
Local: Hancock County Education Association
School: Weirton Elementary School
Subject: 4th Grade
Career Length: 24 years


It’s important to be aware of our students’ emotional and mental health and to remember they might show signs of anxiety in different ways. We also need to be understanding of families and know that many of them are trying their best to help their children with virtual work. Even though their ‘best’ might not be our ‘best’ we need to empathize and realize that many are dealing with uncertainty and loss. Saying this does not mean to compromise on setting high standards for our students, but we need to keep them reasonable and attainable. This is also a time when it is critical that we practice self-care. Exercising, eating well, and taking time for ourselves is crucial for us to be the best we can be for our families and students. I am proud to say that our profession has gone above and beyond during this time. We are resilient! The love that we have for our students is shining brighter than ever!

National Board Certification: In Pursuit of Excellence

Created by teachers for teachers, National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. It was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers, as well as generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. The rigor of certification has been compared to that of certification for the medical and legal professions. For details, go to wvea.org.