To help keep up the spirits of her students and friends each day, one Darlington teacher has taken to posting her own challenge videos.
Beth Smith has been teaching preschool at Darlington for over 25 years. Smith said she loves working with her “smarties,” as she calls them, and doing hands-on activities.
However, Smith was faced with the challenge of how to continue teaching through technology and social distancing.
“I had to start being a little more inventive and videoing everything under the sun,” Smith said.
With her daily videos, Smith greets her smarties and does what they would normally do during their circle time. Smith goes over the date of that day, how many days they’ve been in school and reads them a story related to the topic of the day.
The teacher makes daily challenge videos to engage her students and help them stay focused and entertained. She even sometimes dresses up as different characters to go with the theme.
“One example is, go in your back yard and find things that begin with A through F. And then I run around my back yard to find things that begin with those letter sounds,” she said.
The students then send back videos of them doing the challenge.
“Pretty much everything that I would normally teach, I’m videoing them,” Smith said.
The videos have quickly taken off from being some challenges her current students are doing to former students and friends participating in the challenges as well.
“I started it out just for my smarties ... and it’s funny because I thought I would just do a couple and now I have all these people responding on Instagram and Facebook saying ‘Oh my gosh, I look so forward to your messages every morning,’” Smith said.
Some of Smith’s other challenges include collecting sticks, thanking mail carriers and garbage pickup crews and drawing something inspirational in their driveways.
“It sort of helps me to pick myself up as well, since I’m not seeing a lot of people either,” she said.
Smith hopes to continue doing some of the challenges after the school year ends, but probably won’t be doing them on a daily basis.