“Alternative Learning Plan Teacher Diaries” is a series that highlights stories of Rockwood School District teachers as they continue instruction from home while maintaining relationships and keeping students connected to school and classmates.
Erin Knight, second-grade teacher, Fairway Elementary
Number of Years Taught at Fairway: 9
During a time of remote learning, second-grade teacher Erin Knight's highest priority is to maintain the relationships she formed with her students and parents at the beginning of the school year.
"We continue to do class meetings, announce star students and keep the dialogue open," said Knight. "On top of that, we are making sure our students know how important it is to read, write and work on math skills every day."
Knight is fostering learning in these areas with read-aloud videos and games. Like many educators, Knight is keeping the connection intact via Zoom and Google Classroom, and her rapport with parents is just as important as ensuring that all technology is in working order.
"My students and their parents have been positive," said Knight. "They are completely open to our new way of learning and very excited. Parents have been extremely complimentary and let me know that their child has had a great year, and this hiccup in the road isn't going to change that."
Knight and her grade-level teammates, Jane Leeker and Crystal Mueller, decided to "divide and conquer" – each taking a subject and creating mini-lessons, activities and slides for students.
"By dividing up the subjects, it has made the workload much more manageable and gives us the opportunity to really plan and make engaging lessons," said Knight.
As a mother of two and now stay-at-home teacher, Knight has learned a new way of balancing personal and professional responsibilities.
"Every day is a work in progress, but I think we're doing pretty well for this new change," said Knight. "We want our students to be happy, healthy and still feel loved and supported by us."
"I am thankful to work in a school district that supports its teachers and staff," she added. "It brings me to tears when I think about how many people came together to make the rollout of our Alternative Learning Program a success in such a short amount of time."