Aukerman Appreciates All: Reflecting on teaching during a global pandemic
by Elizabeth C.
Schools and students thrive with teachers who focus on the advancement and wellbeing of their students, like Chris Aukerman. Mr. Aukerman teaches 9th grade World History and AP psych at Duxbury High School. His 27 years of teaching experience, 23 of them at DHS, have made him a force in the school community. Students often form strong and enduring bonds with Mr. Aukerman, which have not lessened, even during COVID.
Mr. Aukerman cares about his students, and like everyone else considers the effect COVID has on their learning.
“Duxbury has done this very differently from other towns and much for the benefit of the students,” said Mr. Aukerman.
He’s particularly impressed that Duxbury has managed to have people in the building every day that they were supposed to. The school has managed to keep up the hybrid schedule all year and avoid any unanticipated virtual periods.
Mr. Aukerman is a great facilitator between students and the administration partly because of his good relationship with the principal of Duxbury High School, Mr. Donovan, and his department supervisor, Mr. Alberti. He listens to the thoughts and feelings of students, especially seniors, and makes sure their voices are heard by higher members of the school. Although the coronavirus pandemic has clearly been a negative force, Mr. Aukerman’s attitude leads him to believe that some beneficial things have come from it.
“People are more aware that [going to school] is a privilege, not a right.”
Mr. Aukerman realized he wanted to become a teacher during one of his summers in Japan teaching English when he helped lead someone to a moment of realization. Over his sustained career, he has been able to teach many different subjects including drama, philosophy, reading, and several in the social studies department.
Mr. Alberti, the Social Studies Curriculum Supervisor, knows that the coronavirus has not changed Mr. Aukerman’s focus.
“His empathy and understanding of student anxiety and stress has heightened,” said Mr. Alberti.
Many things were taken for granted before the pandemic and the population has expressed newfound appreciation for things long enjoyed. School employees are trying their best to help, something that deserves a large amount of gratitude.
“There is never a boring moment with his teaching” said Jane S, a student in Mr. Aukerman’s 9th grade World History class, “and his consideration of every student makes the freshman high school experience a lot smoother overall”.