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Thanks to Teachers: Erica Engel

Thanks to Teachers: Erica Engel

At Hall Fletcher Elementary School, first-grade teacher Erica Engel says laughter is an important part of teaching and learning. She used a pair of creepy underwear to make her point.

"Creepy Underwear. So creepy, so comfy, they were glorious!" Engel reads from the children's book, ‘The Creepy Pair of Underwear’ as her students listen online.

It’s about a bunny named Jasper, who wants his mom to buy him some 'big rabbit' underwear.

It turns out, those undies glow-in-the-dark, and provide a perfect, Halloween-themed lesson for Engel’s first graders.

"Would you guys be freaked out?" "What would you do?" (in Jasper's situation) Engel asks her students.

"Tell my parents" "Throw them (underwear) away" some of the students answer back.

Engel says humor is a vital part of teaching, learning and staying connected.

"You laugh, every day. How can you not? It’s an occupation where you get to laugh, at yourself and at them. And, they make you laugh," says the teacher of 15 years.

Engel was expecting her 16th year to be a little more challenging but has found some positives from going online with her students, and their parents.

"We’re seeing them in their own homes, and they’re more comfortable. I see my parents and talk to my parents more through this because I see them at home than I would have during a regular school year," Engel explains.

Parent Dianna Nickell was concerned about how her daughter Emelia would do with virtual learning.

It turned out, she had nothing to worry about.

"Ms. Engel has made it so enjoyable for her, that she can’t wait to get online in the morning and do classes, and she hates when it’s time to hang up, and she wants to know if she can hang around and talk to Ms. Engel after class," says Nickell.

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