A teacher looked out from her porch to see her students and their parents on her lawn to thank her for her dedication to the job during the pandemic.
Leslie Chouinard, from St. Thomas, Ontario, has been a teacher for 35 years.
When the pandemic struck, she had never taught online, so she dedicated hours of her life to planning at-home activities including singing songs, reading stories, and even dance parties to help her students get through the various lockdowns.
Even though she started with no experience with online teaching she ended up having so much fun that she would dress up in silly costumes at least twice a week and laugh so much with the kids even the neighbors could hear.
On three separate occasions, Leslie went out of her way to drive to each of her student’s houses to check-in and drop-off goodie bags maintaining the face-to-face connection with these young children
Her dedication paid off, with the students engaging with their learning. So much so, once summer hit and it was safer to go outside, they decided to repay her hard work.
After two parents of students in Leslie’s class ran into one another they decided to plan a big surprise for her starting with a video of messages from all the kids.
In June 2020, Leslie was sat on her front porch when the video was sent to her but what she didn’t know was that this was a planned distraction as the parents and kids were around the corner.
As Leslie watched the video she began to cry with happiness over the messages from her students when suddenly the families walked onto her lawn cheering and holding banners with messages of thanks.
The kids then sang ‘You are my sunshine’ and she was given gifts, while Leslie’s daughter Becca filmed it.
Becca only recently uploaded the video, where it quickly went viral thanks to an outpouring of appreciation for teachers.
Leslie said: “The fact that they took their family time on a Saturday to come and see me.
“The time and effort that went into doing that for me was overwhelming.
“It’s something I will never forget – a lifelong memory.”
Leslie has only recently retired after wanting to give the students one last year of face-to-face teaching as the pandemic restrictions lifted in 2021.
Leslie added: “I will miss the laughter and the raw and genuine moments that you see between the children.”
Story via T&T Creative Media