Angela Lewis '02 helps colleagues adapt to virtual environment
Angela Lewis, a 2002 Concordia graduate, is an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Norfolk Public Schools in Norfolk, Virginia. In her role, Lewis teaches teachers how to use and integrate technology into their lessons. Over the past year, it’s safe to say technology has become a vital piece of any industry, but especially education as school districts, teachers, students and administrators adapted to the ever-changing pandemic.
Before starting her institutional technology resource teacher role four years ago, Lewis was a science department chair at a middle school and taught science for grades six through 12 at an alternative school for 12 years.
“I find inspiration in the fact that I believe my calling from God is to help people,” Lewis says. “I have always felt like it was my calling to be a teacher since I was old enough to know what school is and I absolutely love what I do!”
On March 13, 2020, the Norfolk Public School district went to virtual learning—which lasted until March 15, 2021, when students returned to the classroom. The change meant Lewis, like countless educators across the globe, worked from home.
“I have never worked so hard in my life as I have from home,” she says.
Before the pandemic, many schools and students within the district did not have technology incorporated into their daily lesson plans because resources were limited, Lewis says, but now each student has a computer available to them.
Instead of being in the same room with her colleagues, where she could present on best practices, throughout the pandemic, Lewis would have virtual calls, that required sharp communication skills.
“I have seen tremendous growth myself, especially after having the realization that I had to work on my communication skills because I was no longer presenting professional development in person where I could show my participants where things were,” Lewis says, “I had to talk them through the process.”
In addition to serving as the resource technology teacher, Lewis has added a handful of unofficial job titles to her resumé over the last year in serving the district and her colleagues.
“I have also taken on many roles outside of integrating technology in classroom lessons such as tech support, helpdesk support, coach, and at times unofficial therapist/spiritual advisor to those who were frustrated, ready to give up and had lost their way,” she says.
Throughout it all, Lewis says she’s honored and humbled to serve however she’s able.
“It takes a village to raise a child and I feel grateful to be a part of that village, serving teachers so they may better educate and engage our students using technology,” she says.