Washington County Pre-k teachers implement new ways to connect with students


HAGERSTOWN, Md ( WDVM ) — The pandemic has made many things challenging, and some say schooling has especially been difficult, but some teachers are getting creative and trying new ways to build connections with their students.

Going back to school typically involves parent-teacher meetings so teachers can form bonds with parents and their students.

However, this year because of the pandemic, it can be difficult for teachers to form connections with students.

That is why pre-k teachers at Emma K. Doub Elementary school in Hagerstown, participated in “porch visits” where teachers meet parents and students from a safe distance at their homes.

“I tell my kids every year we are a Pre-K family. My goal has not changed even though we’re virtual. I want to build that Pre-k family, whether it’s online or in the classroom, which is why I wanted to do these porch visits, so I can see their faces and for them to see me. It helps build a connection.” said Gina Hoover, Pre-k Teacher at Emma K. Doub Elementary school.

During the porch visits, students will receive learning bags that feature tools they need to get started virtually. They will also receive a box of 50 library books from their teachers.

Staff says the porch visits work as a great way to build a genuine connection and allow families to be more comfortable.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity for teachers to come out and be here face to face to meet the students. This is my child’s first school experience, and meeting someone through the camera is not as personable. We’re so excited that he can actually be here to see his teacher.” said Ashley Hobbs, parent of a Pre-k student at Emma K. Doub Elementary.

Staff says although virtual learning may be a bit challenging they are here to help. They urge parents to reach out with any questions. Teachers also say porch visits are not mandatory, and parents and teachers can always find an alternative way to meet.

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