SILVER SPRING, Md. — Staying connected is a big challenge facing teachers and students as they begin remote learning.
A Woodlin Elementary kindergarten teacher decided to write letters to her students to make sure they knew she was thinking of them.
"My students, I feel like they have become my little family each year," Megan Llewellyn, who has taught kindergarten at Woodlin for six years, said. "So, I was like I got to do something to let them know that I didn’t just disappear, that Ms. Llewellyn is still here and thinking about you."
Llewellyn said she usually begins the school day with a morning meeting.
"We all sit in a circle, and we just say good morning to each other, and we’ll just spend the time talking about what we’ve done the night before and something we’re looking forward to," she said. "And, it’s just a great community builder…and we just start developing those relationships in the classroom."
As soon as Llewellyn heard that they would not be going back to school, she realized she had to think of a way to replace these meetings. So she started a website she called: Letters to My Students.
"[It's] kind of like a digital morning meeting, so that my kids can still feel like we’re connected and still having that time together," Llewellyn said. "Every day, I’ve been writing them a little letter and just sharing what I’ve done for the day."
Her first one reads:
I miss you! This time away from you has been so unexpected and I greatly miss starting my day with our Morning Meetings. I always loved hearing about what you had done the night before, things you were looking forward to, your families, etc. I also loved sharing a little bit about myself with you all! I created this website in the hopes that we can still feel connected. As your parents read you my posts I hope you know how much I am thinking of you all!
I spent some time painting today (you know Ms Llewellyn loves her art!) and hope that you all are still making good use out of your crayons and markers and creating some of your own beautiful artwork at home! Keep drawing!
Multiple parents said their kids look forward to them every day.
"We really loved it," parent Sarah Katz said. "Isaac, I think he feels really connected to Ms. Llewellyn and his class."
Katz said Llewellyn has made her son Isaac excited to learn, and they both have loved her approach to teaching.
Llewellyn said she plans to continue writing and posting pictures the rest of the school year, although she hopes to see her class again.
"I'm thinking bout them, that I miss them so much," she said. "I think they don’t even know how much they mean to me…so I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to see them at some point."