LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It has been at least 11 days since the classroom and halls at Lubbock-Cooper East Elementary school has been filled with students. Due to restrictions with COVID-19, schools are out until at least April 3rd, giving students and teachers a much longer spring break than they expected.
“To be away from each other is really hard, especially when we really didn’t get to say goodbye because none of us knew that this would be the case,” said Stephenie Smith, a third grade teacher at the school.
While teachers have been capable to send lessons plans and curriculums to their students using modern technology, it doesn't incorporate the valuable in person time the groups are used to spending together.
“We absolutely, at Lubbock-Cooper, not just at East Elementary but across our entire district believe that relationship with our students is the most important thing and so it’s difficult," said principal Candice Cross. "But, we know that as much as our teachers are missing our kids, they’re missing their teachers as well.”
Through the influence of social media and a growing trend around the nation, the teachers were able to form the perfect lesson plan to bridge the gap between social distancing and spending time with their students.
Pre-K teacher, Lisa Faught said, “Someone posted it in our teacher group, that other schools across the country were doing this to show they love their kids and they wanted to just tell them that they miss them and safely see them.”
So with a police escort, teachers packed into cars and paraded through several neighborhoods of their kids Tuesday afternoon to send a message to their students as close to face to face as they could get.
“Just to know that everybody is ok," said Tami Williams, a third grade teacher at Lubbock-Cooper East Elementary. "I think they have worries that adults have too. They sense a lot that’s going on, and so just to see they’re teachers are out there caring enough to say hi and willing to show them that we’re all happy and healthy and doing great, I think that’s a good thing for them to see.”
Next week the students will begin virtual classes on their iPads, that also include virtual office hours with their teachers to continue to build their relationship in this time of separation.