The Avery Coonley School teacher receives national recognition for tireless efforts to connect with students during the pandemic


Last updated 1/14/2021 at 9:37pm

Joe Schallmoser, a Downers Grove resident, has been teaching physical education at The Avery Coonley School for 16 years. During his time at the school, he has found creative ways to approach teaching while also maintaining an incredible connection with his students. With a year full of unexpected challenges, Joe was motivated more than ever to provide a source of joy to the ACS community.

When the pandemic hit near the end of the 2019-2020 school year, in-person learning instantly transitioned to online learning, and schools struggled to navigate eLearning for their students. With a mission to serve academically bright and gifted children who are motivated to learn, The Avery Coonley School teachers, students, and staff were quickly learning new ways to keep their students engaged.

Joe Schallmoser discovered a unique way to keep in touch with his students despite the challenges of eLearning and the COVID-19 pandemic. If students couldn’t come to school, Joe would bring school to them! Joe took his love for bad dad jokes and fitness directly to the homes of his students. He brought his well-known sense of humor to promote exercise to bring happiness to families all around the Chicagoland area. He visited 10 houses a day, totaling 700 burpees a week. He began each visit with a bad dad joke, asked his students to do 10 burpees with him, and then before he left, he shared the same message of encouragement with each student, “We love you. We miss you. And we can’t wait to see you again.”

The Avery Coonley School is proud to announce that Joe Schallmoser continues to be recognized for his hard work, creativity, and dedication to his students during the pandemic. Joe and several Avery Coonley students will be featured in the NBC Nightly News as a part of their teachers’ series which will air next week.


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