JEFFERSON CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Hueytown Elementary teachers, Hall-Kent Elementary teachers and Edgewood Elementary teachers in Homewood are planning separate teacher parades in order to say hello and wave to their students and neighbors.
At Bryan Elementary, teachers and staff put together a Youtube video for students and their families. Also on Thursday, teachers drove through Morris and Kimberly for almost four hours to see their students.
The parades and selfies are a safe way for teachers to let students to know they miss them and they care about them.
At 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1, Hueytown Elementary teachers and staff plan to line up in their cars and drive through several neighborhoods to wave to their students and see them from a safe distance.
Leslie Hinton, a special education teacher who has taught in Hueytown for 15 years, said the idea came up in a teachers’ GroupMe app, and she and many of her fellow educators grasped on to the idea.
Hueytown’s superintendent gave the approval for the parade, but reminded teachers that the students aren’t allowed to approach the cars and the teachers must stay inside their vehicles during the parade to follow the CDC guidelines and local ordinances.
“We’ll be honking horns and waving, having a few signs, but they need to stay in their yards or porches and just wave,” Hinton said.
The school’s longtime P.E. coach, Cindy O’Brien, came up with the parade route. Teachers will line up in their own cars at the elementary school, then start driving through the neighborhoods closest to the school, moving on to Forest Road, around West Crest Estates, Saddle Ridge, 15th Street near the high school and then Virginia Mines.
Hinton said it’s been “extremely hard” going so many days without seeing her students. In addition to worrying about students missing out on their classes, as a special education teacher she is also concerned about how her students are handing the disruption of their normal routines.
The elementary school is also poised to split into two new schools in the fall, a K-2 and a 3-5 school. Hinton said the elementary school staff are so close they consider one another family, so it’s been hard not knowing yet if they will be able to teach under the same roof again.
The teacher parade will be one way for them to unite on behalf of their students one more time.
“Doing this together will be great even though we’ll be observing social distancing for ourselves. We’ve already had some parents say we’ll be waving from the porch,” Hinton added.
The parade is set to last about an hour, from 9-10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1.
Hall-Kent teachers and staff will host a car parade on Monday, March 30 from 2-4 p.m.
Edgewood Elementary teachers and staff will parade through neighborhoods Tuesday, March 31 from 1-3 p.m.
Teachers and staff will be honking and waving from their cars.