In partnership with eSchool News, Illuminate Education is spotlighting teachers in a series recognizing educators, the way they have moved instruction online during COVID-19, and how they have prioritized the needs of their students.
5th Grade Teacher
Walnut Creek Elementary
Henry County Schools, GA
“You need to let your students see you sweat a bit and see that this is as hard for you as it is for them.”
What made you want to go into education and begin teaching?
I have only been a teacher for three years but I have wanted to be a teacher my entire life. I’ve been loving every moment of teaching and I know this is my calling. Even though I wish I started a long time ago, I realized the kids now need somebody a little bit older. It allows me to be somewhat of a motherly figure to these kids who don’t have one.
How is your day-to-day schedule different from when you were in the classroom?
I’m a fifth grade teacher that covers all content. So in a six hour period, we would go over math, social studies, language arts, reading, writing, and science. Our school is a Title 1 school and some of our students do struggle with behavior issues. So to help with that, we kept a very regimented schedule.
Initially when the schools closed and we moved to remote learning, we just picked up where we left off. I had no clue really what to do and I thought the best thing would be to make it as normal as possible. In the classroom when the students walked in, there would be an announcement on the board, we’d go over our class vision and recite the pledge. So now that everything is virtual, we start out with a PowerPoint every morning and I’ll have one student read the class vision and another student will do the pledge. I also make sure we do something light-hearted such as watch something funny or share our pets. I also play music in the background to help wake them up. I made the mistake of trying to start class at 9 o’clock but none of the kids were wanting to get up and start working that early. As soon as I pushed class back to 10 o’clock, I had a lot more participation.
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