In Peru, teacher creativity and resourcefulness on full display

PHOTO: Bethany Meehan-Poulin, a teacher at Dirigo Elementary School, prepares for a virtual field trip to Clearwater, Fla. The image of the school bus also includes a photo of RSU 56 bus driver Jay Johnston. “The kids thought it was amazing to have a ‘real’ bus driver,” she said.

PERU — By necessity, elementary schoolteachers are often some of the most creative beings on Earth, and in this time of shuttered school buildings, physical distancing and on-line learning, that creativity gene kicks into high gear.
Teachers and ed techs at Dirigo Elementary School in Peru are sharing some of the ways they are connecting with students. At the same time, they’re wondering what other teachers are doing to stay creatively connected.

Blake Hutchinson, son of Dirigo Elementary teacher Rebecca Hutchinson, does a counting money lesson, as he participates in distance learning. (Submitted photo)
Bethany Meehan-Poulin, who teaches students in the fourth- and fifth-grade resource room, created a virtual field-trip to Clearwater, Fla., to visit Winter, a rescued dolphin. “We used a link from Scholastic to access the content,” she said.
Following up with students after the lesson, Meehan-Poulin, who has 14 years of public school teaching experience, said the students agreed the trip to Florida was a lot fun.
“They thought it was sad that the dolphin was injured, but were excited they made a prosthetic tail for her,” she noted.
Education technician Brianne Johnston from Dirigo Elementary School crafted stars to mail home to the fourth- and fifth-grade resource room students as part of their work packets to inspire and encourage the children while learning from home.
While teachers are working to continue classroom learning, they often must wear two hats during the process. Rebecca Hutchinson, who works in the Dirigo Elementary School pre-k classroom, is not only teaching her students from home but also teaching her own children as they engage in distance learning as well.
Hutchinson has also worked with her son Blake on a counting money lesson. As a formerowner of her own preschool, Hutchinson “has amazing ideas for hands-on learning,” noted Meehan-Poulin.

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