Hawks at Home: Melissa Rodriguez '20

Senior Melissa Rodriguez is making it work from home. The Elementary Education major and Dance and English minor walks us through a day in her life in this first of our Hawks at Home series, in which students spotlight how remote learning is going in their own words.

By Melissa Rodriguez and Julia Rubin
Headshot of Melissa Rodriguez.

BREWSTER, N.Y. – Senior Melissa Rodriguez never thought she'd be teaching third grade from her family's home. The elementary education major is spending this period of social distancing hunkering down with her parents and sister. At the same time, she's leading reading groups, tracking her students' needs, and gaining skills she'll need to teach in even the most uncertain of times. 

"My host teacher and I have developed a great relationship and I help with assignments, grading, and small group lessons in the classroom," Rodriguez said. 

Rodriguez has found her professors to be crucial resources during this challenging time. 

"The love and support they are providing for their students and past students has been incredible. I have never experienced such a community of people gathering together to be there for each other," she said. 

Rodriguez shares what a day in her life of remote learning looks like, from breakfast to Netflix shows, and everything in between. 


Water with lemon and open journal, with "April" written on the page.

Monday, April 20, 2020

9:30 a.m. Had a zoom meeting with my third-grade classroom from my student-teaching placement. I got to talk to my students and my host teacher!

Photo of laptop screen with virtual tour of RWU

10 a.m. Work meeting with my boss and co-leads at the Office of Admissions! We are test running a ‘virtual tour’ for families that were unable to visit campus. 

Yogurt bowl and latte.

11:15 a.m. Breakfast time! I usually eat around this time every day. I had a yogurt bowl with my latte. My sister ate with me as well. She had a smoothie. 

12 p.m. Buckled down to get some homework done! I have a lot of major assignments due within the next two weeks, so any time with work is essential. During this time, I worked on a case study on my middle school experiences for my student teaching middle school course. 

Screenshot of Cinderella.

1:30 p.m. Had a Zoom call with my host teacher and a few students in a reading group to help target their specific needs. I did a read-aloud of Cinderella to help students find context clues in the text. I love how my teacher has adapted the curriculum for effective remote learning and how I am a part of it as well.

Selfie of Rodriquez outside.

2:15 p.m. Took a short break to put on real clothes, watch some YouTube, and go outside for some fresh air! It was a really nice day outside so I was just hanging out on the deck for a while and reading a book. I love to read and I’ve had so much time to do so recently! 

3 p.m. Had a Zoom call with my seminar group from student teaching. We gather every other week to talk about our engagement in the classroom, with our host teachers, and with our assignments. It is nice to talk to other student teachers in this setting. 

Two people sitting on the floor with a yoga mat and a laptop open to a workout video.

5:30 p.m. Took a Mend Yoga sculpt class online with my sister. Mend Yoga is located in Newport, RI and I used to attend classes there but they moved all their classes online. The best way for me to de-stress during this time has been working out. I have always been a big workout junkie, but now with the change of events I have found new ways to move my body to de-stress! I love yoga, Pilates, and running for decluttering my mind!

7:30 p.m. Had dinner with the whole family. I cooked a chicken teriyaki stir fry. I do most of the cooking in the house because I love making healthy, fresh meals for my family. Lately, I've also been loving baking vegan banana bread. My sister and I have made it about three times since we have been in quarantine and I am completely obsessed!

9 p.m. Dessert and Netflix time!!! This will be the last thing I do in the day. I love hanging in bed and watching some Netflix to relax at the end of the night. Lately I've been watching Ozark, All American and New Girl!

Looking Ahead

Rodriguez looks forward to seeing her friends and extended family again, but in the meantime, she's staying busy and working towards her goals as an educator.  

"These experiences will help me in the future in case I ever experience remote learning when I have my own classroom!" she said. "Any chance I get to be able to interact with my students are moments I want to remember and learn from."

Rodriguez has her sights set on becoming a principal or superintendent some day. 

"While in my elementary education program, I became extremely interested in urban education and the issues of the resources for the students in those schools," she said. "I want to make real change in urban areas for the students who deserve more than they get."

More Hawks at Home: Shaelyn LeLevrie '20
The Dance & Performance Studies and Public Relations double major walks us through a day in her life during this time of remote learning