At Fairview Elementary School, Kindergarten teacher Caitlin Sullivan believes in making her classroom like family. That’s helped one of her students come out of her shell.
On a cold day, Sullivan’s kindergartners have their recess inside, doing fun games like ‘Run the Red Carpet.’
In the center of the classroom, decked out in pink pajamas, a class privilege, is little Emma, running and jumping as her proud mom, Meagan, looks on.
"She would hide behind people and be like ‘I’m not talking. I’m not saying anything." recalls Meagan.
That was Emma at the beginning of the school year, not wanting to participate in the virtual learning at first.
Meagan says a few one-on-one zoom meetings with Ms. Sullivan began to change that.
"She loves all the children as if they’re her own. She calls them family and we love that," says Meagan.
"It’s all about getting down on a student’s level, physically, getting down to them, so they don’t see me as this giant who is towering over them," explains Caitlin Sullivan.
Sullivan, a teacher at Fairview for ten years, knew all Emma needed was a little extra attention.
"We just knew being gentle with her, being loving with her" says the teacher.
Now, as the class learns how to count to 100, both Caitlyn Sullivan and Meaghan celebrate the 100 percent change in Emma’s personality at school.
"Now, she’s raising her hand. She’s answering questions. She’s interacting. She’s being silly," says Emma's mom.
"When she’s not wearing her mask, she’s smiling, she’s giggling, so she’s just blossomed throughout the year," adds Ms. Sullivan.