In this time of crisis and uncertainty, elementary school teachers across the country have been going above and beyond the call of duty to make life better for their young students who are stuck at home.
Due to school closures across the country amidst the growing coronavirus outbreak, many children have been forced to stay home from school. However, it seems that teachers from a number of different elementary schools in numerous cities across the country have have found creative ways to keep in touch, encourage them and cheer them up from a safe distance.
Dozens of educators from neighborhoods in Indiana, Maryland, Texas, Mississippi, Minnesota, and many other states have been forming car parades and driving through their student's neighborhoods to keep the children's spirits high amid the stressful pandemic.
As teachers drive in organized parades in vehicles adorned with supportive signs and messages, students and their parents have been lining the streets waving and cheering in heartwarming displays of appreciation and solidarity.
Lisa Corbin Fritz, a teacher at North Elementary in Noblesville, Indiana, took to Facebook to share some photos of one such parade, which she said involved 50 teachers at the elementary school.
"There were so many students out - many of them holding signs telling us they loved us and missed us, some jumping up and down with excitement in seeing their teacher pass by, and even some crying as they saw us. It was also very touching because there were so many elderly people standing on their porches waving to us and thanking us," wrote Fritz, who also shared some photos of her own Volkswagen, which she decorated especially for the occasion.
"At this time in our country‘s history so many people just want to feel a connection to others. I am so very proud of the North staff because in less than 24 hours we put it all together: Signs were made, cars were decorated, and we all lined up to start the parade at 1:30 this afternoon," she added. "We covered over 27 miles in 2 1/2 hours and with each mile the love, hope, and faith in my heart grew."
John Hoffman Elementary in San Antonio, Texas, also organized a teacher parade, and planned everything on the school's Facebook page to keep parents and teachers connected and in the loop.
The elementary school also clearly codified the "safe rules" that most parades have followed to maintain social distance and the safety of all involved. The rules include, "Students must stay in their doorway on on their driveway," "Students may not approach cards or run into the street," and, "Students that are by themselves must have parent permission to be outside."
Appreciative teachers, parents and students across the country have been sharing their love for the parades on social media, and documenting this unique bright spot amid the pandemic.
And the Jeff Davis Elem “not Mardi Gras but sort of” car parade is rolling. pic.twitter.com/JoJYdMeS7y— Bill Snyder (@BillSnyderWLOX) March 24, 2020
Posted by John Hoffmann Elementary PTA on Monday, March 23, 2020
Noble Crossing’s teacher parade happening now!Posted by Noblesville Schools on Monday, March 23, 2020
We live in such a GREAT CITY!— City of Stewartville (@StewartvilleMN) March 24, 2020
School teachers are doing a parade around in our neighborhoods with signs on their cars saying “we miss you”, “were in this together” and “wash your hands” as they honk down the street waving to all the kids and familys standing at windows or outside pic.twitter.com/VlK01CGtHg
The Round Top Teacher Parade was the highlight of Karleigh's week!! pic.twitter.com/5zhkoq6erK— Kimberly Smalls (@KimberlyMSmalls) March 22, 2020
The teachers and staff at our twins' elementary school missed their students so they held a parade for them this morning throughout our neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/j8aJgcMp98— Tom Porter (@TomPorterDC) March 22, 2020
It was such a special morning seeing our families during @ljbbumblebees1's parade. Teachers and administrators waved and shouted words of love to their students, and our Bumblebees made their own posters to show how much they miss their teachers! #teamRCS #BetterTogether pic.twitter.com/9TrVeolIEF— Richmond Co. Schools (@rcsraiders) March 24, 2020
McAuliffe teachers and staff joined together to parade through our neighborhoods today to tell students we miss them and care about them! Thanks, team! #WeArePBV #mccauluffeexplorers pic.twitter.com/LKM4igj4Zc— Jennifer Payne (@princpayne) March 23, 2020
Otsego’s teacher parade was awesome !!! Thank you .... we didn’t get all the cars or signs in our video but we felt the love from you all ❤️ @berryflavoredslushie @sullyhank.doodle *the Berry dogs enjoyed seeing everyone too pic.twitter.com/Avupqyytx3— Georgiann Berry (@BerryGeorgiann) March 23, 2020
Teacher 💖 parade!! Thank you to all the staff and families that came out today. We love and miss you so much. Stay safe and healthy!! Huskey Pride!! pic.twitter.com/JNvnJkruw7— Mary Harris Elementary School (@MHEHuskies) March 24, 2020
Not going to lie, I did not expect this parade to be so emotional. Teachers hold a lot of love in their hearts for their students and school family. This “job” is who we are. We give it our all day in and day out, year after year. Feeling a bit incomplete today pic.twitter.com/U0WMV08t38— Asheley Harris (@AsheleyHarris1) March 23, 2020
There have been many unfortunate and unintended consequences from schools having to shut down -- including an increased financial hardship on families who rely on the meals provided by schools to help feed their kids, and added challenges for parents who have had to figure out how to go to their jobs without being able to get anyone to care for their children during the day.
However, some of the unintended effects have actually brought joy to some students lives. Such as the problem with classroom pets. As classrooms shut down, many schools had to figure out who would care for the class pets during the closure.
For some excited young students (with agreeable parents) -- as well as some caring teachers -- this meant a new animal companion to spend their time with while self-isolating and social distancing at home.
As schools across the country close their campuses because of the pandemic, parents and teachers have found themselves with an additional house guest for the foreseeable future. Here are some classroom pets that have joined families in self-isolating. https://t.co/eIQTldBhOq— CNN (@CNN) March 24, 2020
The classroom pets have adjusted well to their relocation to our basement. pic.twitter.com/ll9ilNqD6P— Polly Karr (@karr_pe) March 24, 2020