Since learning has transferred online, many teachers are focused on one thing: sustaining classroom culture and connection. 

Stephanie Merris, a first grade teacher at Sunset View Elementary, is a big believer in classroom culture. Rather than seeing the online method as a barrier, she sees it more like a hurdle. A hurdle that can be successfully jumped and landed. 

“I’m passionate about creating an energetic environment that is magical and entertaining,” says Merris. “If you were a student in my classroom, you would hear me use different accents and voices during story telling. You’d also hear me sing often.”

“I also incorporate humor in my lessons. Humor is an integral part of my life. Charlie Chaplin said, ‘A day without laughter is a day wasted’.  I hope that I can help my students laugh as our country deals with more serious issues.”

“It is my utmost desire to provide my students with momentary escapes from reality as we travel to academic lands of wonder!”

In addition to her daily online lessons, Merris meets personally with five students each day through Zoom. In these virtual meetings, Merris checks in on her students’ understanding of the course material. 

“I love seeing the camaraderie and excitement that fills my screen each time a student logs on!” states Merris. “I end my meetings by giving virtual hugs through the screen and telling my students how much I love and miss them.”

“All of these learning tactics are strategies I use to activate my students’ imaginations and make their learning process a memorable one.”

Thank you Stephanie for your time and dedication to keeping a positive classroom culture. We can’t wait to see how other classroom cultures evolve!

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