Kavitha Cardoza | Michigan Radio
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Kavitha Cardoza

To say Leah Juelke is an award-winning teacher is a bit of an understatement. She was a top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize in 2020; she was North Dakota's Teacher of the Year in 2018; and she was awarded an NEA Foundation award for teaching excellence in 2019.

But Juelke, who teaches high school English learners in Fargo, N.D., says nothing prepared her for teaching during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The level of stress is exponentially higher. It's like nothing I've experienced before."

A year ago, the kindergartners learning English in Tanya Gan Lim's class were thriving. Back then, she'd bring in props and pictures to help her students learn the language and sound out words. Then she'd lavish them with praise, even if they stumbled, to build their confidence.