CPS Teacher Recognized for Creativity During Teacher Appreciation Week

From Star Wars to music, Ms. Heineman's first grade class is staying engaged during the coronavirus pandemic

NBCUniversal, Inc.

During this Teacher Appreciation Week, Chicago Public Schools has recognized one teacher for the way she's been providing a sense of normalcy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms. Kathryn Heineman, a first-grade teacher at Coonley Elementary in the North Center area of Chicago, was nominated by a group of parents after creating unique lessons for her class of 28 during this pandemic.

With class transitioning to a virtual platform almost overnight, Ms. Heineman said her main goal was to keep her young students engaged.

“When you take out that social component, it makes it really hard to recreate,” Heineman said.

Heineman’s lessons often include songs, instruments and costumes.

One of her students, Graham Roark, says although he misses his friends in the classroom, Ms. Heineman has become his favorite first grade teacher.

“That’s really been key for him. It’s amazing how much the little guys’ faces light up when they see their teacher, Graham’s mother, Brooke told NBC 5’s Chris Hush. “That’s brought some normalcy into his life, for sure.”

To see some of her unique lessons, watch the video in the player above.

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