Our  Perspectives from the “Classroom”  series will be shared every Wednesday bringing you a reflective piece from one of our St. Paul faculty members.

Mr. Joseph Longmore grew up in Brooklyn, NY and after 16 years of Catholic education started teaching in Brooklyn and Staten Island. He took some time off from teaching to work for the Associated Press in their Financial Markets department and he’s always ready to give some financial planning advice. Once his family moved to central CT the 2+ hour commute to Grand Central Station became too much so he returned to the classroom at St. Paul in 2016. Today he lives with his wife, three children, and two dogs in Ridgefield CT; he must really like long commutes.

We’re pleased to bring you Mr. Longmore's reflection on his teaching in the “classroom” of uncharted distance learning at St. Paul.
Mr. Joseph Longmore
Perspectives from the “Classroom”

I have always felt I am a much better student than a teacher and the pandemic has only reinforced that belief. Before looking to teach others I ask myself “what should I learn from this experience?” Through this self-examination I believe I can better serve my students.

The two lessons I have learned revolve around Gratitude and Service. First, I am extremely grateful to work at St. Paul Catholic High School.  While I have had to develop new lesson plans and assessments from the comfort of my home, others have had to make real sacrifices. The healthcare workers, police, firefighters, EMT, and others have continued to risk their lives to protect our communities. The people responsible for maintaining the food supply have reported to work and in the process they may have exposed themselves (and their families) to the virus.

Millions of others have been forced out of work due to government stay-at-home orders. They desperately want to return to work to help provide for their family. Business owners watch as their monthly expenses continue to rise as revenues dry up faster than any prior recession. The latest unemployment figures do not accurately reflect the hardships so many are enduring.

Of course, the families who have lost a loved-one have sacrificed the most. Every day the number of total fatalities steadily rises, yet even a math teacher knows the human cost cannot be measured in numbers. The grief these families suffer is the greatest cost of the pandemic.

Their loss brings me to the second lesson for me, which is service. How can I serve my community? My hope is that our work as teachers in some small way helps the parents who are making the sacrifices mentioned above. Please know that as teachers at St. Paul we feel responsible for your children. It reminds me of when I was a young boy and both my parents worked. I knew all the other moms on the block looked out for me and if they told me not to do something I had better listen. As St. Paul parents work to get us through these difficult times, the St. Paul faculty is here to serve you as best we can so your child’s education is one-less thing to worry about.

My perspective inside and outside the classroom is guided by gratitude and service. St. Paul’s provides me an opportunity to show my gratitude through service to the St. Paul community.