Mid-South Heroes: Recognizing teachers amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: May. 28, 2020 at 5:29 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The school year is coming to a close, and we wanted to take some time to show off all the hard work Mid-South educators put in to make these bizarre final few months of learning at home seem as normal as possible.

So for May, we're recognizing teachers and all our educators as this month's Mid-South Heroes.

No hands in the air, no students in their seats. Mid-South classrooms made for a lonely sight after the coronavirus sent kids home for the year in March.

"But the learning hasn't stopped,” said Nicole Scott, Briarcrest Christian School teacher.

To learn from home took some adapting, but Mid-South teachers proved why the future is in good hands.

Teachers like Haley Omedeo, who teaches kindergarteners in Senatobia, Mississippi, came up with innovative ways to keep kids interested at home.

She took a shed in her back yard and turned it into her own classroom to work from as she taught kids over the internet.

"I wanted to create a space where my kids felt comfortable and could learn,” said Haley Omedeo, Senatobia Elementary School kindergarten teacher.

That sense of structure at home is why Wynn Earle, the principal at Kingsbury Elementary, decided to start doing morning announcements each day for his students.

“A lot of parents are just thankful that we're doing something that serves as an alarm clock for them, an alert letting them know their day has to get started,” said Wynn Earle, Kingsbury Elementary School principal.

Other teachers like Karina Day in Olive Branch, Mississippi used technology to make sure certain programs continued.

Her seventh graders were able to continue their buddy program, sending recorded videos of them reading to their first grade "buddies" since they couldn't read to them in person.

"My hope is that my kids realize that even when you're faced with challenges and there's struggles and sadness around you that you can still find ways to stay positive and happy,” said Karina Dey, seventh grade English teacher.

These are just some of the examples that make Mid-South educators this month's Mid-South Heroes.

They have been creative and caring for the sake of their students during an unprecedented time.

While they may be learning apart, their hearts are in it together.

If you know someone worthy of being called a hero, nominate them here.

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