CI Hero: Chillicothe South Elementary teachers keep remote and in-person learners on the same page

CI Heroes

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD) — Two kindergarten teachers, along with a student-teacher, cater the class curriculum to both in-person and online students. This week’s CI Hero shows how South Elementary School educators keep 5 and 6-year-old’s learning and progressing.

Lindi Jenkins along with Bradley Unversity student teacher Jessica Caraos teach Chillicothe kindergartners remotely.

“Just teaching them that like, ok, this is what we look like at school,” said Mrs. Jenkins. “We sit in one spot. Our eyes are on the screen, so different, you know, our listening ears are still turned all the way up, so just all those things we’re teaching in person you know, they’re the say remote so that’s been silly and different.”

Each day, Mrs. Jenkins and Caraos go through letters, sounds, numbers, and more to keep kids on track for the year.

“I think teachers are amazing,” said Mrs. Jenkins. “It’s been fun training a teacher during this time and just being able to show her that like we can do this, we can do it that way, just showing her that we’re going to step up to the plate and do whatever we need.”

With 12 years of experience under her belt, Angela Bauer teaches her in-person students in a socially distanced classroom.

“You’re constantly moving,” said Mrs. Bauer. “You’re around. You’re trying to reach each one of those kids. It’s difficult for them because they’re young, and they’re needy, so they always want to get up and come talk to you, but they’re so good about keeping a distance from friends and just making sure that they’re staying safe.”

She said the pandemic has presented challenges, but anything can be overcome by perseverance.

“The masks, the social distancing, those are some significant changes,” said Mrs. Bauer. “A lot of kindergarten is hands-on and working in groups and close contact, so we’d kind of had to switch things up, but still focus on all the fun things we typically do making a true kindergarten experience.”

Chillicothe parents can change their students preference of in person or online quarterly.

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