From the open top of a Jeep, to TikTok videos and selfies with signs at home, El Paso ISD teachers and staff – like many of their counterparts across the country – are finding unique ways to stay in touch with their students during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Earlier this week, Brown Middle School counselor Julie Black sent a socially-distant message of love to her students from her Jeep as they picked up their curbside meals.
“The connections between myself and my kids and parents need to be maintained,” she said. “I wanted to show them they are worthy of my time and love always. I am craving to make those human connections more than ever and I think my kids are feeling the same.”
In addition to the social distance greetings, Black and other school counselors are available districtwide, even if remotely.
“Talking about your feeling always has a positive outcome,” she said. “Do not feel ‘odd’ asking for help. We are all in this together.”
She initially tried to reach out to students through TikTok with her first “We Love you” sign but wasn’t sure of its success.
Then there’s Tippin Elementary School Principal Gina Rodriguez-Núñez. From the living room of her home, she displayed a special message via social media for her students and all EPISD students: we miss you and can’t wait to see you again.
The reunion – a virtual one at least – will begin Monday, March 30 as EPISD begins their distance learning program known as ‘EPISD@HOME.’
District officials spent the latter half of the week issuing iPads to any family with students in grades kinder through fifth who do not have either a home computer, laptop or tablet at home.
Throughout the district, while cafeteria workers toiled to feed the students at more than 50 sites, staff and employees made sure the children knew they were loved and missed.
Black put it best, simply saying “I truly love my kids, I miss them and soon we will be back at school together.”