FAIRBORN — She had a number of activities planned for the last two months of the school year, but was unable to see her plans in motion. So Fairborn Primary School Teacher Lindsey Woods took matters into her own hands and delivered the activities herself — from a distance.
She missed her students, too.
“I know some parents are struggling and I’m struggling with missing the kids,” Woods said. “… I knew it would brighten the kids day and fill them with excitement.”
After Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that school facilities would remain closed for the rest of the school year, Woods bought her students re-usable sticker books and kites to keep them entertained and honor end-of-the-school-year traditions. She had been in contact with parents and alerted them of her pending arrival. Many of the students were already waiting by the window for their teacher to appear.
Her teaching aids, Stacy Raleigh and Nani Scott, were by her side, and she said parents helped ensure social distancing practices were in place.
“It was a lot of fun, even if it was for a couple minutes at each house,” Woods said. “It was amazing.”
She got the idea after being a member in teacher Facebook groups and observing other teachers do the same thing and post it to the group. Each visit inspired her to visit the students again in the future. She has eight students in her class and was able to see seven of them.
“As great of an experience as that was, waving at and seeing the kids, it was also a little heartbreaking,” Woods said, adding that she missed the hugs. ” … It’s hard not to be around them.”
DeWine announced on Thursday, March 12 that schools would close the following Tuesday for at least three weeks. Woods said the following Friday, March 13 was an in-service day, so students were out that day. Only four of her students returned on Monday and it was the last time before her driveway visits that she was able to see the students.
“It was so rushed,” Woods said of the last few days in the buildings. “If I could go back, there would be a lot more pictures and hugs. It’s hard to think back because it never crossed my mind that we’re done for the year. I accepted three weeks because no one knew at that point.”
She hosts a family day at the end of each academic year and invites parents into the classrooms where she presents a slideshow of photos taken over the last school year. Woods highlighted that many of the photos are taken within the last two months of school because that’s when they do more “fun things.” She still plans to create a slideshow of photos and deliver it to parents. However, it will be a little shorter than usual this time.
“It was an amazing experience to deliver the gifts, and I definitely hope to do it again,” Woods said.