Lesson planning and vaccine tracking
Jonathan Clodman was juggling enough in his young teaching life this year in Toronto. In his long-term occasional position, he would teach at one school in the mornings and then alternate between the others in the afternoon.
Then in April, he got connected to an old high school friend who needed some help with an online vaccination project.
It just happened to be Vaccine Hunters, the makeshift Twitter locator of vaccine availability.
Clodman started answering direct messages and emails from people who needed information, later working directly with OPSBA and local trustees on their vaccination efforts.
“I couldn’t scrub up and walk into a hospital, but this is something I could do,” he said.
Teaching always came first, but with Vaccine Hunters turning into a phenomenon, Clodman had essentially taken a second job to help the public.
It could be teaching from 8-3, then Vaccine Hunters until sometimes midnight, with breaks for food and planning the next day.
It wasn’t easy, but worth the replies he got from his own students once his school and board proudly announced how he was going above and beyond.
“I’d open up the zoom for the class and a kindergarten student would say my mom would like to thank you for helping her get her vaccine,” he said.
The experience reinforced what he learned when he was studying to become a teacher.
“I had to meet people where they are and validate their experience and if I helped them enough, they could turn around and help other people.”