FULTONDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - We didn’t know what to expect when we boarded one of two school buses with about a hundred teachers from Fultondale Elementary School.
Alyson Patton said, “I think it’s just good to let the kids know we are excited about them coming back and we want to be a part of their community.”
The teachers were pumped up cheering with pom poms and all wearing T-shirts declaring “Better Together.”
We found out this bus tour was about connecting with the community and especially students.
Teacher Joshua Patton said, “Connections are like the very most important part of teaching. That’s when they really learn and that’s when they feel at home.”
A few miles from the school we saw some of the poorest areas of Fultondale and then some pretty nice areas, and the teachers gave the same enthusiasm erupting into cheers and teachers yelling ‘welcome to school’.
After the tour when teachers got back to Fultondale Elementary school, we recorded some of their “Aha Moments!”
Assistant Principal Troy Taylor reminded teachers, “It’s important to stop and take a step back and remove yourself from what you are used to doing and listen and feel and encourage and build them up” He was talking about the children set to return to class Tuesday. Taylor said he didn’t grow up in the most glamorous childhood and he found himself on his own in high school.
He said, " Because if it wasn't for teachers like you guys when I was kid I wouldn't be where I am at. He went on to say, " A lot of what our kids are facing, I faced the same thing."
The Tour also included stops at businesses. Teachers swarmed their local Chick-fil-a, ordered breakfast and then ran into the local Target cheering and waving those pom poms. The bus also stopped at Fultondale City Hall. Everywhere they stopped teachers handed out thank you cards.
Principal Susan Remick said they appreciate the help and community support.