Sam Elliott is a fifth grade teacher at the Perry Elementary School. Like all of his colleagues, Sam has been faced with the challenge of keeping his students engaged while they remain at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have to admit this (situation) was not something that any of us, I think, ever seriously thought about,” Elliott said. “However, we’re going to make the most of the situation, and we’ll be doing our best to keep our students in a learning state of mind even though they are not in the classroom.”
To that end, Elliott and the other fifth grade teachers prepared student packets for reading and math and other subjects, with parents able to come to the school Tuesday to retrieve them.
“We’re linked up on Google Classroom, and I want to encourage everyone to go to our Facebook page and join our group,” Elliott said. “There is the Perry Elementary School Facebook page, but then also Perry Elementary Fifth Grade 2019/2020, which is specifically for that group.”
“We will be posting fun challenges and lesson ideas and projects — all sorts of things,” he added. “We want to remain as connected as possible with our students.”
Elliott stressed that work assignments, while strongly suggested, are not mandatory and will not be graded.
“Teachers can look at what the students submit and make comments, but we’re not grading the work,” Elliott noted. “We are prohibited from teaching new lessons or material that we have not yet covered in the classroom, so what we are doing is refreshing and strengthening what we have gone over — it’s all things the kids have already been exposed to.”
Elliott said he hopes his students and their families remain healthy and that the normal school schedule can resume as soon as possible.
“Until then, we will make do as best we can,” he said, “and that is, in its own way, a lesson that can be learned. We’re all in this together, and we will all get through it together, too.”