In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are sharing stories to celebrate the ways teachers have gone above and beyond to help students feel connected during the school closure. Groveland Elementary Kindergarteners in Paul Johnson's class have received some special surprises in the last few weeks—their teacher is making the effort to stop by each one of their homes to say hello, from a safe social distance.
"Teaching kindergarten remotely has been a little tricky," shared Mr. Johnson. "The two big milestones for students in kindergarten are becoming emergent readers and the social/emotional development factor. While I can help the students in their reading through e-learning, I feel like they're missing out on the social aspect. We all know kindergartners learn through play, so that has been the trickiest part."
Mr. Johnson is committed to visiting student homes every other Friday. On his first trip, he delivered bottles of bubbles, packs of playdough, and cards that read, "you are loved and you are missed."
"As we started talking about what's changing with spring and the warmer temperatures, I knew bubbles would be a perfect way to get the students outside," said Mr. Johnson. On a subsequent trip, he and paraprofessional Debbie Kopischke visited with pom poms to cheer students on in their continued e-learning. Next, he plans to have each student record a short hello to be shared with the next student on his route.
"At the end of the day, I hope my students remember their kindergarten teacher missed them so much," shared Mr. Johnson.
Today and every day, we are grateful for the excellence our teachers show both in their instruction and in their care for our students.