"We are a team:" Teachers, parents working together to ensure students don't fall behind

Posted at 7:52 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 22:31:36-05

FALCON — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many parents are voicing their concerns over the number of students falling behind in school.

While it's happening in some districts, parents of children in Remington Elementary School School say their children have thrived during the pandemic.

"The transition to e-learning has been incredibly difficult, but when you have a teacher who has the ability to respond to the changing environment," says Julie Butler, Remington Elementary School parent. "Mrs. Peterson has rolled with the punches. Bascially every carpet that is pulled out from under her feet, she just jumps off of it and goes where is the next carpet."

"She was ahead of the curve every single minute. When we were having virtual learning one day and in-person the next, she didn't miss a beat and was on top of it. The kids knew exactly what to do, I didn't have any tears from that side of the room," says Nikki Wetzel, Remingon Elementary School parent.

Both parents say, Stephanie Peterson, Second Grade Teacher at Remington Elementary School, has helped their children tremendously during this time.

"She made herself available to talk with the kids. She laid down the ground rules with the kids beforehand so they knew the process. She was able to respond to ZOOM pretty quickly like alright kids here is the mute button, make sure you mute yourself at the right times. She just kept up with the things that would cause chaos," says Butler. "She would respond to their emotions in the moment. So if the kid would start crying, she would be like are you okay? It is okay. She would respond and be able to move on. She also provided spaces for the kids to do work by themselves, and then she would work with those that were struggling."

With over ten years of teaching experience, Peterson says this year has been the most challenging, but also the most fulfilling.

"I get so many responses on class Dojo. We love you, we support you, thank you for everything that you do. We know you're working so hard," says Peterson.

She says academics are important, but it's also about how the children are feeling and the stress they're experiencing during the pandemic.

"I try to normalize it as much as possible as much and the parents help to do that. We are a team, and we are working together to get through this, " says Peterson.

Peterson says she's made sure to keep an open line of communication with both parents and students.

"I would have parents message me and say I couldn't get so and so to do his homework. I said hey that is okay, I have a second grader too, and trust me there are days when it's a battle. It is a different atmosphere when you're learning from home versus at school. It's really important to recognize that and know that they're little people and so stressed," says Peterson. "There was a lot of modification and differentiation of lesson and just being open and being a human being and understanding what everyone is going through."

Despite the pandemic, Peterson says her students have done very well academically.

"Their math scores were amazing, and we still have months left of school so I know we're going to above where their base scores are supposed to be. The same with reading," says Peterson.

She encourages teachers who are struggling right now to lean on one another for support.

"I have a lot of veteran teachers on my team so it's a lot of me showing them technology and them sharing stuff with me," says Peterson.

For parents, Butler and Wetzel recommend patience.

"Hang in there, do what is best for you and your child, and reach out and communicate with your teachers," said Wetzlel.

"We're all going to have gone over the same hill of challenges and we are going to be okay," says Butler.

Both women say they're grateful for Mrs. Peterson during this time, and they wish their children could have her next school year.