Educators are finding amazing ways to help their students during the coronavirus school closures. Take a look at some of our favorites.
It’s an unprecedented time to be an educator. With nearly no warning, teachers and principals all across the country had to close up shop and quickly figure out ways to pivot to online learning.
And somehow, in between managing their homes and families, spending hours a day teaching online, and dealing with their own anxieties, teachers and principals are finding ways to stay connected, spread joy and humor, and do good in their communities (and beyond). There are lots of warm and fuzzy examples out there; here are some great ones we’ve found.
When one of his students, also a neighbor, told South Dakota teacher Chris Waba she was having trouble with math, he brought a whiteboard to her porch to help her problem-solve in person—well, as much so as possible.
My 6th grader emailed her math teacher for some help, so he came over & worked through the problem with her on our front porch. @Chriswaba9 , our neighbor, MMS teacher & MHS Wrestling Coach. #KidsFirst @MadisonMSNews @MarkOsports @dakotasportsnow @dakotanews_now @stwalter20 pic.twitter.com/aniqt2goPB
— Josh Anderson (@DakSt8Football) March 27, 2020
Teachers at Marvin Wright Elementary in Spring Hill, Tenn., offered some drive-by love, and many students happily returned it with cheers and colorful signs.
Lots of birthdays are happening under quarantine, which is not easy for young children. This kindergartner get a big surprise from her teacher—a “happy birthday” message written in chalk on her driveway.
— Brooke Schuster (@CTMSScience) April 16, 2020
Says this mom of her child’s teacher’s drive-by birthday visit: “…when your daughter’s teacher and school nurse still make it to her drive-by birthday parade, you know it’s going to be ok.”
Schools are closed for the year, and that announcement was tough. But when your daughter’s teacher and school nurse still make it to her drive-by birthday parade, you know it’s going to be ok. ❤️ #lovethem #ThisTooShallPass @CES_Wildcats pic.twitter.com/mfAHFRJC2Y
— Jennifer Burtram (@burtramjen) April 15, 2020
We’ve seen lots of video and photo collages and love this one put together (in both English and Spanish) by staff at Bellamy Elementary in Tampa, Fla. “I miss all of you! We are all learning together!” “We miss you each and every day,” “We’ve got this Bobcats” are among the many signs held up by teachers to encourage and bolster their students.
Staff at Bellamy miss you
Posted by Bellamy Elementary PTA on Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Rebecca Talaia, a 6th grade teacher in Indiatlantic, Fla., turned her idea to donate to a hospital the disinfectant wipes sitting unused into her classroom into a national effort. After collecting 60 canisters of wipes from her school, Talaia contacted her district representative and the effort grew from there: She set up and now manages From Our Classrooms to Our Nurses: American Schools Care, a website that enables schools to enter products they have to donate and hospitals to receive them.
Andrew Kleyn, middle and high school principal at Lansing (Mich.) Christian School, kicked off his school’s remote learning by doing a now-viral parody of “Frozen” in which he sings “Do you wanna come and learn now?” to the tune of “Do you wanna build a snowman?” Admitting “it gets a little lonely,” Kleyn caps off the video (which also includes participation from other school staff) by exclaiming “Students never bothered me anyway.”
One Lansing school is kicking off remote learning in a most unique way. Check out Lansing Christian School and their frozen parody!
Posted by WILX News 10 on Friday, March 20, 2020
Each night at 8, principal Jennifer Buller of Coolidge Corner School in Brookline, Mass., invites students and parents to an interactive story time where kids can talk about the story, and to each other, after. “I think we are in some really unprecedented and uncharted times and I think we all as people in the education field need to work together to figure out what…we can use to help families connect,” Buller told the Boston Globe.
After the school closing canceled her school’s spring Disney production, teacher and drama lead Lauren Lucursi of Smith Springs Elementary in Antioch, Tenn., got in costume and traveled “under the sea” for her students.
School is closed and we can’t do our Spring Disney production. And we all “wanna be where the people are”! So travel “under the sea” and enjoy this video from first year teacher and drama lead Lauren Licursi! pic.twitter.com/uv4NxFIHS2
— Smith Springs ES (@SmithSpringsES) April 14, 2020
Following the lead of Jason Campbell, the “TikTok Doc” whose dance moves help inspire and motivate his colleagues at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, principal Lynn Johnson and assistant Jamie Taylor at Harvest Hills Elementary in Oklahoma City, Okla., did their own version of Campbell’s TikTok challenge as they handed out homework packets to students.
In Ashland, Mass., the principal of Mindess Elementary is doing by-request street dance parties to lift students’ and parents’ spirits. Toting a portable speaker around town, Michael Caira is continuing a tradition at the school during the regular year, when students are greeted with music high-fives and pats on the back as they enter the building. “[It’s] all about the kids. We have to make sure we’re keeping the kids happy, bringing smiles to faces. This is the most important thing right now,” Caira told nbcboston.com.
Ashland principal brings drive-by dance parties to his students https://t.co/RaHo2ttljG
— MetroWest Daily News (@metrowestdaily) April 3, 2020
By issuing a challenge to families to create a piece of art that displays one of the school values, the principal at this school is helping parents keep their kids busy while reinforcing messages of togetherness and kindness.
— MitraFamily2020 (@Family2020Mitra) April 16, 2020
Kudos to this family for keeping it candid and humorously letting other families know that the struggle is real, even (maybe especially!) when the parent is also a principal.