Taking a sneak peek into a classroom (Cartagena, Colombia)

Tools of the trade

Laura Mourino
2 min readMay 18, 2020


Pilots have planes

Doctors have lab results.

Librarians have books.

Politicians have laws.

These are the tools of their trade.

We cannot phantom any of these professionals succeeding within their industry without access to these tools.

Yet we are asking that of educators — to teach without access to their craft’s tool — their students.

And with much hardship, dignity and pride we are doing just that throughout the world.

We had less than 1 week, in many cases 1 day, to shift years of experience from one platform to another without any training whatsoever.

We went from a bell to a modern Indian head test pattern on our laptops.

Stressful 50 minute schedule five days a week to anxious 20 minute marathon twice a week.

Touchpads replaced Chalk

Screens replaced board

Sofas replaced desks

Laptops replaced notebooks

We went from grading with a colored pen to using rubric checkoffs on digital classroom.

Yet we will continue to educate — globally because all educators share the same passion: to help children grow academically and socially.

Distance learning does not replace our love for our students and this crisis does not overshadow our student’s consistent hard work

Globally, educators miss being with their students in real time.

And once we resume to our traditional forms of teaching, we will continue to work without essential items: textbooks, paper, writing utensils, air conditioning, and in some cases, water, toilets, seats, tables and classrooms.

But we will have our tool again — our students.



Laura Mourino

Education Activist. Math Adjunct Professor — Baruch and Hunter College (CUNY) , The New School and NYC public school Math Educator (Harvest Collegiate HS)