A teacher’s dedication to her students
Euclid Schools’ teachers continue to work hard to engage students throughout the extended closure. This week I want to introduce you to one of them.
Eighth grade teacher Rebecca Simmons, a Euclid native, student taught at Central Middle School and started her teaching career at Forest Park. She has taught for six years at Euclid City Schools. Passionate about English, she always wanted to share her passion for reading with her students.
Inspired by Central Middle School teacher Laura Hixenbaugh’s professional development on the book “The Book Whisperer” and its reference to the “40 Book Challenge,” Ms. Simmons decided to implement the challenge into her classroom.
“My students absolutely love it,” she said. “Students always have a book on hand, we talk about books both in class, and informally when kids just want to talk about what they’re reading or ask if I have suggestions for them.”
“When school ended so abruptly, I knew most students probably didn't get the opportunity to grab any books, or would quickly go through what they had at home. Once the Euclid Public Library closed, I knew I had to get my kids books. I reached out to a partner I've worked with many times, The Cleveland Kids' Book Bank, and asked them if I could possibly get some books so that I could deliver them to my students. They were happy to help me out. “
“I drove downtown and when I was there I mentioned that there may be kids of all ages in the homes, and so they gave me books ranging from baby books to middle school. Once I got the books home, I organized them in my car by level to make delivery easier, and then I sent an email to all of my students, and posted on the Euclid Community Facebook page so that community members could reach out for books as well.”
She started delivering books on March 23, driving for a little more than four hours. She drove more than 70 miles around Euclid, made roughly 25 stops, and delivered more than 250 books.
“As far as the "why" I did it, I just wanted to not only make sure my kids got books, but I wanted them to know how much I care about them and how I'd go to any length to get them what they need. If delivering books was within my reach, then that's what I was going to do. I saw some of my kids through the window as I put books in mailboxes and it just made me so happy to see them.”
Ms. Simmons also has students design memes about their school work and what they’re reading. She is having her students journal throughout the extended closure and makes comments on them every day so that her students know she is reading the entries and is here for them.
“For a message for my students, I'd like to tell them to just stay positive. This can all feel very overwhelming, but it will pass, and we will all get through it together. I hope they can find an escape into a good book, and I can't wait until I can see them all again!”
Ms. Simmons is just one example of how our teachers go above and beyond to engage with our students. They do this year round, not just during the extended closure.
Thank you to Ms. Simmons and all of our teachers and staff for your work and dedication throughout this period.
No online teacher hours on Friday/Monday
Teachers will not be available online on Friday, March 10, and Monday, March 13, over Euclid Schools’ extended Easter weekend. Students will not be expected to complete work on these two days.
Free meals to continue on Friday/Monday
Euclid City Schools will continue to provide meals on Friday and Monday. Meals will be distributed 9 a.m.-noon at our school buildings.