Finally. After several weeks of vacant halls and empty desks, SPS elementary schools welcomed the Class of 2033 to in-person learning Wednesday. There were plenty of air hugs, elbow bumps and photos at Adams, but surprisingly, no tears.
“The students were so happy! There was no crying at drop off -- a typical first-day-of-kindergarten experience,” said kindergarten teacher Katie Leyde. “They are ready to be here and they need to be with peers for their social development."
Students spent much of their first in-person day learning about routines, procedures, and how to be safe at school. Since only half the students will be at school each day for the first week or so, there is plenty of time to be sure everyone understands the new safety rules.
“We are still working on staying in our bubbles,” Leyde said, “but I can see them trying so hard to keep each other safe.”
Certainly, teaching and learning during COVID have brought no end of challenges. But in midst of the frustrations have been opportunities to grow.
“I've learned to be flexible,” Leyde said. “And I'm more confident in my tech skills now!"
And if distance makes the heart grow fonder, it seems distance learning makes students grow more eager.
“My students were ready to learn and were so excited to finally be together,” Leyde said. “And I was ecstatic to have kids back in the building. We became teachers to connect with kids and be with children. In-person learning is so necessary for these little learners and I'm so excited to know them in person.”
Visit spokaneschools.org/kplan to learn more about how we’re cautiously and thoughtfully returning to in-person instruction for our youngest learners under the guidance of state and local health officials.
Kindergarten teacher Katie Leyde welcomes her students.