Swansea teachers wave hello to students in drive-by parade

While students are stuck at home distance learning, teachers and staff in Swansea decided to hit the roads and wave hello to their kids in a drive-by parade.

SWANSEA, Mass. (WLNE) – While students are stuck at home distance learning, teachers and staff in Swansea decided to hit the roads and wave hello to their kids in a drive-by parade.

“The teachers, they are so wonderful. There’s no words to express how good they are. Waving to all of these students and just making them feel so comfortable and happy,” said Claudette Bourassa, grandparent to two children in the district.

Bourassa and her grandchildren were just one family of hundreds that gathered on the streets of Swansea Tuesday morning, waiting to wave to their teachers.

“I’m home with my kids from school, so it was really great to see all the kids come out and wave to their teachers. We’re doing the distance learning with them, but having the teacher one-on-one face to face is always good for the kids,” said Audrey Rocha, a teacher at E.S. Brown Elementary School.

Teachers practiced social distance as they rode in their own cars on a route that started at Brown Elementary and ended at Cole’s Landing.

“It can be depressing locked inside. Seeing the turn out of the students, the parents, elderly people who have nothing to do with the school system. It was just amazing to see everybody outside smiling,” said Emily Estrela, a teacher at Brown Elementary.

“Everyone in their front yards, and their driveways, and their houses. It was awesome. It was a great experience,” said Megan Silva, a first-grade teacher at Gardner.

The drive-by hellos aren’t just happening in Swansea, school districts across the country are doing the same to lift up the spirits of children and teachers who are missing each other during the public schools’ shutdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“Some parents were out there without their kids so it was kinda funny to see the parents out there cause I think they’re missing us also,” said Rocha.

Distance learning is underway in Massachusetts after Gov. Charlie Baker’s order to close all schools for at least three weeks to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Bourassa said her grandchildren want to be on Google Classroom, the platform that Swansea is using, all the time.

“They can’t wait to get online to have their classes with (the teachers) because they get to interact with them every day,” she said.

The teachers hope it serves as a little bit of reassurance that soon life will be back to normal.

“It was awesome. It brought tears to my eyes, just to see the excitement from the crowd, it kept the excitement in me going,” said teacher Nancy Jacobson.

Public schools in Massachusetts will remain closed until at least April 6.

© WLNE-TV 2020

 

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News