With the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering schools this spring, educators have been thrown into an unfamiliar role — trying to teach their students at a distance.
We wanted to throw a spotlight on Greater Sudbury educators who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for their students in these unusual times, and perhaps shown a bit of creativity as they engage their students.
Sudbury.com asked readers for their nominations for local educators who fit this bill, and we received a nomination for Lynne Robillard, who teaches kindergarten at École Alliance St-Joseph in Chelmsford.
“Mme. Lynne Robillard at Alliance St-Joseph sends her jk/sk students almost daily dojo messages saying hello, singing happy birthday (when applicable) and still teaching them the lessons pertaining to the work she sent for the week!” said a Facebook comment from parent Caroline Montpellier.
“She also sends weekly links to different online games or programs and even participates in the programming of boom cards to help with their math and French skills!
“She also painted rocks for every student and dropped them off in their driveways one night for them to find the next morning. Each student had an original rock with positive words. It really made my six-year-old feel special!”
We got in touch with Robillard recently and asked her about her approach to distance learning during the pandemic.
Robillard said she has a theme for each week. One week she had an Earth Week theme in honour of Earth Day, and painted 30 rocks for her students and dropped them off in each student’s driveway — while maintaining physical distancing, of course.
“A few of them sent me pictures of them finding their rocks, some of them sent me videos,” she said. “So it was really cute.”
By dropping off the rocks, she said she wanted to encourage her students to paint their own rocks and drop them off during their outside adventures to put a smile on other people’s faces.
Robillard said she’s also been doing daily video lessons, as well as regularly videoconferencing with her students.
“They’re only like five minutes long — they don’t have much of an attention span,” she said. “I play games with them and stuff, and they really like it …It’s super cute. I miss them so much. It helps.”
Robillard said she was touched and also surprised to hear that she had been nominated to be featured on Sudbury.com for going above and beyond for her students during the pandemic.
“Yes, I love my job, and we work hard,” she said. “When I got the call from my principal, I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Do you know of an educator who has gone above and beyond for their students as learning moved mostly online during the pandemic? Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to include their first and last name and where they work so we can get in touch with them.
Please note these educators could teach anything from daycare or kindergarten, to grade school, to high school, to college or university.
To meet other teachers chosen as part of our Awesome Educators series, type "Awesome Educators" into the search bar at Sudbury.com.