Starkville teachers put unique twist on classic book series

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – With school out until further notice, some area teachers have  turned to unorthodox learning methods.

It started like all great, modern ideas do– from a post on social media.

Tassie Rosamond, a fourth-grade teacher at Henderson Ward Stewart, saw a post from a teacher in Louisiana about a “reverse” Flat Stanley while scrolling through her newsfeed.

That’s when a new idea formed.

“I took my Bitmoji, to be cool with the kids, and my picture, and decided to mail myself to my kids and go on adventures and connect with students that way and the response has been tremendous,” said Rosamond.

Tiny Mrs. Rosamond arrived at students’ homes with a complete list of instructions.

“I sent them a letter and some instructions and an activity board with activities if they couldn’t come up with their own, and to be honest, a lot of my students that have responded have come up with their own activities,” said Rosamond.

Rosamond said it’s been tough to connect with students the past few weeks.

“Not having my kids is really hard because… that’s what teachers do,” said Rosamond.

She isn’t the only one adjusting, though.

Shanika Parker is also a fourth-grade teacher at Henderson Ward Stewart, and this is her first year on the job.

“I hope that my kids really remember this because it’s such a difficult time for everybody. Kids, adults, teachers, everybody alike, are struggling. We’re all struggling through this because it’s just something we’ve never been through before, so I wanted to bring something positive and happy to them that they can use at home,” said Parker.

During the pandemic, many teachers depended on video calls and emails to reach their students, but the reality was not all students have equal access.

“That’s another thing. It’s something that’s accessible to all students. If I have their address I can send it to them and they can send it back. They might not have a computer. They might not be able to get online, but they can send me something in the mail,” said Parker.

“This is a visual way to bring some consistency where they can actually see me and share with me what they’ve done,” said Rosamond.

Rosamond said just because students aren’t in the classroom, doesn’t mean they can’t learn something.

“Learning can look very different. It doesn’t have to be sitting at a desk. It doesn’t have to be taking a test. It can be about experiences and everyday things that they do,” said Rosamond.

The project coincided with the kick-off of Teacher Appreciation Week.

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