One Chicagoland teacher went viral as she attempted to make her student feel special

1 month agoKarli Bell

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The education system in Illinois had to make some drastic changes and convert all coursework to e-learning and make assignments available for online use. This leads to students missing out on athletics and other school sanctioned events. At Husmann Elementary in Crystal Lake, Ill., those changes took place pretty quick.

“I think a lot of us [teachers] were holding on to knowing that we would get to say goodbye to that class,” second grade teacher Kathryn Snell said.

In the school district at all the elementary schools, the administration wants to honor a student that lives up to the values that they preach: be respectful, be responsible and be safe. One of Ms. Snell’s students, Olivia, earned the student of the month award for April. Because of the shelter-at-home order, the ceremony and gifts that are normally given out couldn’t happen.

Snell said, “I had just put together my own goodie bag for her on my own, because it wasn’t possible to get the actual ones from the school. I wanted to leave it there [at her house] for her, because it’s difficult for all the kids. I just felt like she really deserved the recognition that she wasn’t going to get, especially knowing that we weren’t going back to school.”

“When I pulled up to her street, she was waiting outside, waving. It was the cutest thing. I said that you need to back up so I can drop this on your porch. She went in her doorway. Her mom came, and we just chatted for a few minutes. I didn’t even realize the picture was taken. I left and then later that night I was on Twitter,” Snell said.

Then this post by Olivia’s mother went viral, to the point that E! News picked it up and posted it on their Instagram and Twitter.

“Then when E! News posted it, I was like what is my life. My iPhone 7 crashed like 7 times because it could not handle the Instagram volume. I’m like what is happening right now,” Snell said.

That picture helped connect parents, students and teachers across the country. However, to Ms. Snell, there’s only one connection that matters most.

Snell said, “With every Zoom meeting that we do or every card that I send to a kid or every time we awkwardly sing happy birthday over Zoom and everybody’s a couple lines off, we still are making the connection and we’re still trying to show our students that we’re there for them. At the end of the day, that’s really all I can do whether I’m in the classroom or not.”

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