The halls of Indian Trail Elementary remain silent during the Coronavirus outbreak as students are stuck at home until at least the end of April, probably longer.
But Wednesday morning, it was the teachers who went to the students.
Staff from the school lined up in their cars and hit the streets with a makeshift parade, honking and in some cases throwing candy, to children outside their homes. It was a way to stay connected with the kids and let them know that their teachers are thinking about them.
Ask any teacher and I'm sure they'll tell you that to properly educate their students, they need to form a connection with them. It's a little more difficult in these times, but the teachers of Indian Trail Elementary drove from street to street on Wednesday with a lesson for their kids: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
The message was definitely reciprocated as the kids smiled, waved and held signs letting the teachers know they also missed their teachers and the classroom.
On an educational level, the shutdown has forced teachers, old and new, to get creative with how they pass along knowledge to their pupils.
"This is my 40th year of teaching and it's the most bizarre thing ever," 4th grade teacher Carol Golden said about the shutdown before the parade started. "I've had to learn a lot of technology in the last few weeks."
Well, necessity is the mother of invention and there's still a need to teach our children, so many teachers are now doing that online.
Alex Sawyers teaches 3rd and 4th grade at Liberty Elementary in Spangle, and like many teachers, he's trying to maintain his bond with his kids and didn't want to break tradition of his "Read Alouds", so he's been making videos and posting them on YouTube for his class to follow along.
"We're just trying to be innovative in the way we deliver instruction to kids who are stuck at home like we are right now," Sawyers said. "Everything is building an airplane while we're flying it right now. There's no manual for how to teach like this for us, so everything we do is new and for the first time."
There's no manual for something like this, but creativity like Principal Fisk at North Central using Instagram and some memorable costumes to teach kids will certainly grab the attention of students while he's trying to promote social distancing.
Some ingenuity, like Mr. Sawyers' virtual "Read Alouds" can help inspire and maintain special bonds.
And a little bit of honking, and perhaps a candy toss or two in a rainy morning parade, can let the kids know that during these uncertain times, they are missed and they are loved.
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