As days and months go by without students and teachers able to see each other every day, some have found sweet ways to stay connected and show each other’s love and appreciation beyond video chat classrooms.
“It was more of a blessing for us than them because you saw how much students prepared. We decorated our cars, we could have done more with our decorations after seeing the outpour of students waving and waiting for us. It was so moving! More moving to see that it was not only students but elders coming out of their homes to see and wave at us. The smile on their faces was incredible”, Ms. Sonia Gonzalez from the Barbara Cocarell Elementary School in Houston shared about her experience driving up to see her students.
But what this first-grade teacher wasn’t expecting was the outpour of love from other neighbors as well. “We did this for kids, and got elders coming out as well.”
The Texas “caravan of love” was organized before the homeschooling program was officially put in place. “We are in the process of making the online assignments that we are posting every day. I’m not sure we will be able to follow it, but we may. Now we get to see them more often. Our police officers led the caravan those days and guided us all throughout the route. Now we are seeing each other online. It’s so neat to see them every day.” Ms. Gonzalez has a classroom of 21 students.
These Houston elementary school students proudly waited for their teachers to drive by. They made signs to make sure they knew how much they are missed. Not even the Texas heat could stop them.
Dylan, a first-grader, waited patiently to see Ms. Gonzales drive by his house.
“I show up to my students because it shows that we care. We are here to support them in any way. I know some of our students come from backgrounds that are not as fortunate and just going out and meet them where they are, gives them encouragement. Letting them know that we value our jobs to work for them to teach them and support them”, Ms. Gonzalez said.
Art teacher Jenni Feidler goes all-out, painting her car for the caravan of love. They drive up and down the neighborhoods where their students live and wave to show how much they miss them.
At Gilbert Elementary School in Arizona, some teachers parked their cars with signs and balloons and waited patiently as parents drove by with their students.
To follow social distancing protocol, parents allowed their kids to put the windows down and wave at teachers.
Signs of love were seen all over the parking lot of this Arizona school.
Dual language kindergarten teacher Maria Valencia smiles upon seeing her students from the school parking lot.
“It was incredible to see so many students take the time to drive through the school to say hello,” said school principal Justin Sremba. “It certainly filled our hearts, and I hope the students received some enjoyment as well.”