At Time Timer, we try to highlight exceptional schools around the country and what makes them great. We’re huge fans of teachers and all the places where they teach! This gives us the chance to celebrate great teaching and innovative educational approaches. This month, our School Spotlight will look a little different because of school closures. And with it being Teacher Appreciation Week, we felt it was especially important to do a School Spotlight, even though teachers aren’t in the school building.
With school closed, students aren’t in the classroom to celebrate their teachers and all they do. And with in-home learning, parents’ appreciation for teachers has grown exponentially. Parents are seeing the patience, dedication, and handwork it takes to teach children every day. This is true for people around the world, and that includes the parents on our own Time Timer team.
Therefore, our School Spotlight is highlighting the schools that have popped up all around the world within the four walls of the home environment. And it’s honoring the teachers who have had to adapt just as much to this challenge. We reached out to our team at Time Timer to share how the teachers in their districts have been helping their children transition to learning in the home and things they appreciate even more about teachers because of this experience.
The School: At-Home Learning with the Time Timer Team
What is it: Because of COVID-19, schools across the country were required to close. This shifted the remainder of the school year to virtual learning. Many parents were required to take on the role of facilitating their children’s schoolwork. This is a challenging time for both parents and teachers. Many teachers have gone above and beyond to support their students as much as possible, as well as their student’s parents.
How it Works: We reached out to some of our Time Timer parents for their insights on at-home learning within their own families. These team members each have children in different school districts within the Greater Cincinnati area. Let’s take a look at each of their in-home learning approaches and the teachers that are making it possible for their children to succeed under the current circumstances.
Bringing the Class Together Virtually
Heather & Dave Rogers, Co-Presidents of Time Timer
First, we have our Co-President, Heather Rogers. Heather has two daughters, one in middle school and one in high school. Heather and her husband, Dave Rogers, own and operate Time Timer. Running a small business, in addition to now homeschooling their two children, is no small feat. Heather says, “despite an overwhelming switch from in-person to remote education, the teachers in our district have never once wavered in their supportiveness or commitment to the children.”
Heather specifically wanted to thank her daughter’s high school band teacher, Jimmy Galloway. Jimmy created a video of students virtually performing Mariemont High School’s Warrior fight song. Heather says, “[this] embodies the Warrior spirit we see play out on the phone, in emails and zoom meetings every day.”
Take a look at this cool video of the MHS Marching Band Fight Song.
Heather and Dave’s daughter, Benner, practicing her flute and piccolo at home using her Time Timer PLUS
At-Home Learning Spanning the Ages
Jenny Davis, Customer Service Manager
Second, we have a look into our Customer Support Manager, Jenny Davis’, in-home learning center. Jenny says, “I just love how the teachers have been putting every effort to make this fun and interesting.”
A mother of three, her kids span the grade levels, and each teacher has their own approach for making the most out of the remote learning. Jenny shared with us a little about each of her kids' new normal when it comes to schoolwork.
Jenny’s youngest, Kate, a first-grader, is learning through supplied content, a daily digital checklist of tasks, and personal connection with her teacher. Her teacher videos herself in her “learning environment, where she works” and asks the students to send her videos of their learning environments as an effort to connect and make them comfortable in their new “classroom.” She also meets weekly with the students, via Zoom, and holds morning meetings, sharing time, and social check-ins.
Kate’s teacher combines these interactive moments with recorded content to expand independent learning. She records herself reading books, several times a week and sends them to the students. Jenny tells us, “I definitely appreciate the patience it requires to be an elementary teacher. If the students struggle or do not like the activity, you really have to work hard to get them to want to do it. Imagine handling that with a whole class of 7-year-olds!”
Jenny’s daughter, Kate, sending her teacher a video to check-in.
Kate’s first-grade teacher team sending their love to the students!
Jenny’s middle schooler, Drew, has a team of teachers that get creative to keep the students engaged! She tells us that, “Some of Drew’s teachers have made a ‘green screen’ in their living rooms and then used a picture of their classrooms uploaded as a virtual background. It looks like they are in the class teaching when they are on Zoom - so fun!” She also said that his teachers have made scavenger hunts for the students, with gift card rewards that are dropped off for the winners. It creates a lot of fun and engagement for the middle schoolers.
And lastly, Jenny’s oldest, Emerson, is tackling high school in this new environment. Luckily, as an older student, Emerson is “totally self-sufficient and she handles all on her own.” The teachers work hard to make the work manageable and connect through Zoom. There are lots of changed lesson plans, so the teachers have had to adapt quickly. Jenny says what she loves most about the high school teachers is all of the video messages. She tells us, “You can even meet with the School Counselor virtually! The teachers send pictures and tell the students they are thinking of them. So cute!”
Teachers Going Above and Beyond
Kendall Rogers, Time Timer Office Manager
Third, Kendall Rogers, our Office Manager shares insight into their new normal and how incredible her daughters’ teachers have been. Kendall has been homeschooling her two daughters since the beginning of school closures. Kendall’s daughter, Van, has a pretty exceptional teacher who came to visit on her birthday. Just because they weren’t in school, didn’t mean the teacher forgot about her student's birthday.
Kendall's Daughter, Van, and her teacher on her birthday.
Kendall says, “Out of the business of her work day, she took time to let Van know how much she misses her and cares. Van was truly touched and felt so special. This teacher goes above and beyond the call of duty! We appreciate it so much!”
Kendall also had a very special shout out to her daughters’ art teacher for all she does. She said that Ms. Huggins is one of the best teachers saying, “We are so lucky to have [Ms. Huggins], [She] brings so much color and joy and hope into this world. Van and Aya have been encouraged, uplifted, and inspired by [her]!”
Kendall's daughters, Van and Aya, with art teacher Ms. Huggins.
Success Stories: During this unprecedented time, there is no exact measure of “success.” It is because of the amazing teachers out there that encourage and engage their students, that this time of at-home learning is successful. Every child and family can only do their best to adapt to this new challenge. Success comes from the overwhelming support from the community, the parents, and the teachers that have all jumped in and adapted their way of living, learning, and working to help our children grow. The ingenuity and commitment to our children and students are the true measures of success.
Inspiration to Action: Although every families’ daily schedule and every teachers' virtual lessons may look different, we are all in this together. Time Timer recently developed a Facebook group to help parents and teachers connect. This is a place to share ideas and ask questions to other parents and educators alike. With the support of others, we can make the best of our current situation! If you are interested in joining our Facebook group and connecting with other teachers and parents, click the image below.
Interested in reading other School Spotlight Features? Check them out here.