Principals salute creative teachers

It’s safe to say that students, parents and communities are appreciating teachers on May 5, National Teacher Day, more than ever before.

With the advent of distance learning, teachers adapted to the new situation and looked for ways to stay connected to their students.

“The partnership between our educators, parents and parishes, helps our children stay connected to the school, the classmates and the Church they love," said John Pendergrass, M.R.E., Ed. D, Interim Superintendant of Schools. "We have a new vision of the role teachers have in a community."

The Diocese of Raleigh checked in with Catholic school principals and learned about some of the ways -- from spiritual to educational -- that their teachers are staying engaged.

Teachers, we are praying for you.

May is for Mary

Peggy Lane, Principal, Cathedral School, Raleigh

Teacher Appreciation Day 2020 - Cathedral School, Raleigh

Second grade students created a virtual May Crowning prayer video for their school community. Mary Anne Richard (Grade 2 teacher) and Kim Wheeler (our Grade 5 teacher, mom of a 2nd grader), crowned Mary at the end and put the slideshow presentation together. One of the staff sent the following message to Peggy Lane, "This has brought forth profuse emotions of love, gratitude, and hope and many joyful tears."

Lions Live Quarantine Edition

Tripp Burton, Principal, St. Mark School, Wilmington

Teacher Appreciation Day 2020 - St. Mark School, Wilmington

To adapt to the current pandemic, media students temporarily changed the name of their school video news to Lions Live Quarantine Edition. Patricia Burns, library media specialist said, “It is our effort to bring a sense of community and normalcy to our students, parents, teachers and church community.”

I’d Rather Be Sailing

Dana Corcoran, Principal, Immaculata School, Durham

Teacher Appreciation Day 2020 - Immaculata School, Durham

Fourth graders were challenged to build two different kinds of boats as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program. Students had to design, construct and trial the boats, then write about the process, including what worked, what didn’t work, and what could be improved.

Learn How to Draw

Joan Alexander, Principal, St. Peter School, Greenville

Teacher Appreciation Day 2020 - St. Peter School, Greenville

Students of all ages can learn to draw from a video created by John Bell, art and STEM teacher. This video, intended for kindergarten through 2nd grade students, demonstrates Drawing Stuffed Animals with Simple Shapes. He has done four more for upper grades using various types of materials.

The Muscleman

Tara Navarro, Principal, St. Michael the Archangel School, Cary

Teacher Appreciation Day 2020 - St. Michael the Archangel School, Cary

Art teacher, Tara Girolimon, invited students on a virtual field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and challenged them to “Be the Art.” They were asked to re-create their favorite pieces using costumes, props and settings from home. “To date we have had over 60 students involved in this voluntary activity,” said Tara. “I believe it is because this project keeps our students engaged not only with art, the global community, but with each other. The students loved this project and seeing each other from another point of view.”