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10 Extraordinary Teachers Who Rose To The Challenge During COVID-19

If there is a silver lining in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s that more people appreciate the critical role educators play in our daily lives than ever before.

We’ve heard countless tales of their selflessness and resilience over the past year, and they never fail to lift our spirits. The 10 stories below are just a few of our favorites!

1. Teacher cares for infant after student’s family tests positive.

When the parent of one of her 7-year-old students called her in a panic, ESL teacher Luciana Machado Lira of Connecticut became the hero their family desperately needed.

The child’s Spanish-speaking mother was in labor, and both parents had tested positive for COVID-19. To make matters more difficult, they couldn’t communicate with the hospital staff, so Luciana, the only bilingual person the family knew, rushed over to translate for them. When they asked her to take their newborn infant home with her while they recovered from the virus, she said yes!

2. Woman drives two hours to teach students with autism during lockdown.

In Mexico, a special education teacher named Nay turned her pickup truck into a mobile classroom so her students wouldn’t fall too far behind. She drove two hours a day to teach kids in rural areas because she knew they didn’t have access to books or internet.

3. Teacher designs see-through masks so students with hearing impairments can read lips.

After face masks became a requirement for in-person instruction, Leslie Bailey of Legacy Elementary School in Bossier City, Louisiana, instantly recognized a problem. One of her students was hearing impaired and relies on reading lips, so she decided to find a solution!

4. Teacher turns his kitchen into science lab to stream experiments for remote learners.

You can’t have chemistry class without experiments! Jonte Lee teaches chemistry and physics at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. With his students learning from home, Jonte transformed his kitchen into a safe science lab and streamed experiments and demonstrations via Instagram. The students absolutely loved it!

5. Kindergarten teacher keeps students engaged with high-energy virtual math lesson.

Mackenzie Adams of Lake Stevens, Washington, wanted to see what she looked like while teaching her kindergarten math class over Zoom. She ended up going viral online thanks to her exaggerated facial expressions and clear, direct style of communicating with her kids. Teachers like this deserve a medal!

6. She built a library for neighborhood kids inside her garage!

Jennifer Martin teaches third grade in Austin, Texas, and she’s always had a passion for libraries. When she realized the students in her neighborhood didn’t have access to a library during lockdown, she transformed her own garage into a literary treasure trove using her own books as well as donations. Her garage library ended up with over 2,000 titles.

7. She logged in to teach classes every day from her hospital room.

Janet Udomratsak’s school in Lancaster, California, went fully remote in the fall. Janet, who was pregnant at the time, was put on bed rest and needed to be hospitalized in the maternity ward at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. Instead of letting a substitute teacher take over, she turned her hospital room into a virtual classroom.

8. Teacher delivers 7,500 lunches to students learning from home.

Zane Powles, an assistant headteacher at a school in England, was concerned that his students wouldn’t have access to healthy food when schools shut down. For 17 weeks, he went to school early in the morning to make lunches for 100 low-income students. He would then spend hours delivering them to their homes to make sure no one went hungry on his watch.

9. Teacher and mom of five makes a special house call to cheer up her sad student.

When first-grade teacher Katie Ricca of Florida noticed one of her students seemed down during their remote lessons, she reached out to the girl’s mom. It turned out the little one was “sad but didn’t know why,” so Katie stopped what she was doing and drove to the child’s house for some socially distanced one-on-one time right there in the driveway.

10. Teacher masks up to give every student a custom-made toy.

Students love the end of year project in third-grade teacher Shannon Anderson’s class. The Rensselaer, Indiana, teacher and author always has her students write a story, and then she gives them a custom plush toy of their main character. When the lockdowns began, the project seemed likely to be scrapped entirely, but Shannon refused to let that happen.

Teachers really are the unsung heroes in our society! They are constantly going above and beyond to encourage their students and make them feel loved!

Share this story to thank an educator for all the work they do to keep our kids safe and healthy.

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