At Brevard Elementary, some of the kids are back in class, but, quite a few chose the virtual option. So, we’re featuring longtime 5th-grade teacher Jeanne DeJong, who is teaching her students creatively online.
Last spring, as many teachers struggled to transition to virtual learning, Jeanne DeJong took her computer outside and read to her students from this field of flowers.
"I come up with something new all the time. I’m definitely not a ‘do the same thing every year’ kind of a gal," says DeJong, who has taught at Brevard Elementary for 20 years.
From the chalk drawing of the Birchbark House on her classroom floor to today’s new lesson on the food chain, De Jong keeps her students active and learning.
"She’s nice to all of us, and she teaches us really cool stuff like 6th-grade math," says student Felix.
"I really appreciate her trying her hardest to let us try to make things feel normal, even though it’s been really tough sometimes," adds student Kaylee.
DeJong says finding that right mix of structure and creativity is key to making virtual learning work.
"Every single day is the same routine, but, within that, drawing the Birchbark house on the floor, and showing them I’m willing to lie on the floor, or I have them run outside and do ten jumping jacks, and they can tell I’m doing that, too," says DeJong.
DeJong says she chose to teach virtually this year, because she has a new grandbaby, and wants to be as socially distanced as possible.
But, she’s enjoying getting to know her students online, students who hope to meet her in person.
"I’m really looking forward to seeing all my friends and be able to go back to school, and see my teacher, and be able to hug her and stuff. So, I’m hoping that we can," says Kaylee.
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