Since the closings of schools on March 17 for Broken Bow Public Schools due to COVID-19, a piece of the teachers’ hearts at North Park Elementary have been missing. On May 15, the teachers got a little piece of them back, as the school held a drive-by to say goodbye to the students for the summer.
“It’s been fun,” Elementary Art Teacher Ellen Kuhl said. “It’s hard not to hug them when they come in, but as you know we can’t do that.”
Being away from school was not only hard for the students but their instructors as well. First-grade teachers Sara Myers, Teresa Smith, and Lisa Neely expressed how close they are with all their students and that this time has been lonely and very hard.
One of the more difficult parts has been the fact that teachers do not get to see if their students are truly understanding the material, they are trying to teach them.
“It’s been frustrating, I’ve been doing videos and posting them online, but I never see the kid’s reactions,” Kuhl said. “That’s what teachers do, we want the kid’s reaction, we want to see that light spark in them, and we never see that Ah-Ha moment on their part which is really hard.”
Through the crisis, each teacher had to come up with new and creative ways to get in contact with students and parents to help them go on with learning as usual. This included zoom meetings, a lot of emails, videos, phone calls, and yes even an Easter Egg Hunt.
“I did an Easter Egg unit and showed my students how to do Ukrainian Easter Eggs,” Kuhl said. “I gave them options to decorate and then I challenged them to have an Easter Egg Hunt so that people could look for them.”
As students drove by and waved goodbye to there teachers one final time to close out what has been anything but an ordinary school year, you could not help but feel the happiness and hope in the air. The hope that next year will be different and that the teachers and the students at North Park Elementary will once again be reunited.