Barno has seen both sides of increased tech use

December 9, 2022


Kalonga Mwenda

English teacher Amy Barno is in her 24th year of teaching.

Veteran English teacher Amy Barno sees both the good and bad in technology as Baldwin High School’s curriculum has advanced.

Barno likes the impact of students having laptops and the district using Canvas.

“I think having the one-to-one technology we have is very beneficial, to be able to hold students accountable at all times for their assigned work,” Barno said.

But with the rise in cell phone use among students, Barno has noticed a decline in school spirit compared to previous years. 

“Before phones, people needed something to do, so they would join in on many more activities at school,” Barno said. “There used to be a sea of purple on Fridays, and now you don’t see that.”

Barno, who has taught for 24 years, has made a lot of memories – some of them coming from the high school renovation project.

“It was a challenge to be displaced around the building,” Barno said. “Classes were sometimes held in locker rooms and we even had a makeshift hallway we had to go through to get places.”

Barno also recounts some fun activities the school used to participate in. 

“I always enjoyed the Senior Assistant day because it raised money for charity and to me, brought a lot of school spirit by students interacting with each other from different grade levels,” Barno said. 

One benefit of being a veteran teacher for Barno is her being able to reconnect with past students and their children.  

“I enjoy being able to see some of my old students as parents at the open houses, and it’s nice getting to connect with their children by having them in my classroom,” Barno said. 

One of her former students is Lee Terbosic, a successful magician who has appeared on America’s Got Talent and at the Liberty Magic theater downtown.

Barno remembers letting Terbosic work on card tricks after he finished his work in class. Later, when he started performing his downtown show, “52 Up Close,” Barno went to see him perform.

“I believe a previous mayor of Pittsburgh named a day ‘Lee Terbosic Day,’” Barno said. “I had him when he was in 11th grade.”

In terms of her approach to teaching over the years, Barno said the birth of her daughter had a strong effect.

“Since becoming a mom, I think I have become more compassionate and I try to give my students a say in how we approach classroom activities,” Barno said.

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