When Jordan Munoz ’20 isn’t cleaning art supplies or bouncing between buildings, she teaches art to students at Northern Elementary and Dillsburg Elementary in both Dillsburg, Pennsylvania.
After leaving so abruptly because of COVID-19 during her last semester of college, Munoz says she struggled to find closure with professors and friends at Messiah. She says she felt further discomfort when starting her first official teaching job during a global pandemic.
“I’ve never experienced how to teach from a cart, how to balance two buildings and how much extra preparation it would take teaching during COVID,” she said.
She has adapted to accommodate the new normal of teaching. Out of her 40 different art classes, she teaches 34 classes in person and six virtually.
“I have to prepare everything for each student out of the roughly 600 kids I teach,” she explained. “On top of that, we are encouraged not to provide materials that are shared amongst students. If I pass out materials like paints, I need to collect them and sanitize each one and let it rest for 42 hours before I can use it again.”
Her students learn in a six-day cycle of in-person and virtual classrooms. Through a program called Loom, she records her lessons, shares the link and inserts a face cam for her students.
In addition to her full-time teaching job, Munoz attends graduate school at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. Her thesis highlights teaching English language learners (ELL) using the visual arts, a passion she found as a Messiah student after spending two summers teaching art in Chiquilá, Mexico.
“I am planning to do action-based research through Northern, which has the majority of our district's ELL students,” said Munoz, who will receive her master’s in the summer. “My end goal with my research is to provide practical applications for art educators to implement in their classrooms.”
Molly McKim ‘23