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Follow the teachers: Sharing hope and thanks this season

The teachers have been teaching virtual for months.
Posted at 6:36 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 22:39:28-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- In a school year where parents and teachers have had to adjust over and over again, teachers are sharing their stories of hope and gratitude with ABC 10News.

Dawn Harrison teachers her first grade students virtually from her classroom in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. She hopes one day, she won’t be alone in her class.

“I would much prefer to be face to face with my kids and be able to get the hugs… be able to pat their little back or hold their hands,” Harrison said.

She knows that is not a reality right now, but thinks about what she is grateful for. She looks forward to monthly distribution days, where she will see colleagues and students for a brief moment when they pick up materials. She is thankful for parents, as she knows this has been difficult for everyone.

“They take into consideration my thoughts and feelings, too,” Harrison said. “The parents that have shared with me, they’ve been very thoughtful of taking everybody’s perspective and situations at home.”

Harrison has also found an even greater love for another teacher— her husband.

“The way he engages [his students], the experiences he’s able to provide for them, it gives me a new appreciation for him,” she said of her husband Rick Meads, a teacher at Eastlake High School.

Meads sang his wife’s praises as well. “I’m telling you, the amount of energy that she has to expend for first graders is a whole lot different than what I have to do,” he said. “I don’t know how she does it, but she’s amazing.”

Meads is grateful that he is still able to teach, although it is in a format that is new for many educators.

“I’m really thankful that we are able to have this opportunity to do this online. If you think about this ten years ago, it would have never happened,” Meads said. ‘I’m not sure what we would have done.”

During the summer, elementary school teacher Kelly Martin told ABC 10News that someone described the current situation as a “corona coaster.”

With many still on this “corona coaster,” Martin is thankful for her students. “I’m so appreciative of that hard work because three months of this is getting a little draining on some of them,” she said. “I just look forward to finding ways to keep connecting with the students.”

As she looks ahead to a new year, Martin said she hopes to “keep it fresh and keep it new, so that the monotony of online learning doesn't drag us down.”