During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers’ creativity and excitement has been essential for millions of students to continue their educational growth during at-home learning. Teachers have found new ways to communicate with their students in order to engage, teach, and motivate them while schools are closed.
Eugenia Fernández is a bilingual Pre-K teacher at Leonides González Cigarroa Elementary School who set out to create a YouTube channel with instructional videos with the help of her videographer husband, Mario Barraza. Her son Ollin, who studies acting, also appears in videos reading stories out loud.
“We have enjoyed making these videos as a family during these times,” Fernández said. “The idea is to virtually recreate a classroom in which, through dance, singing, breathing exercises, and other topics of interest, I can connect with my students.”
Miss Fanny Frog is a character that Fernández often featured in the classroom and is now an important part of her YouTube videos.
“My students already know Fanny and they get excited when they see her,” Fernández said. “They have an emotional tie to the character, which helps me engage them.”
In the beginning, Fernández’s videos were geared towards her 19 pre-K students. However, her videos have been viewed by family members in Mexico, and friends from Washington, D.C., California, and Arizona. Fernández says it has been a big surprise to her that this initiative has expanded and reached more children that do not have access to the tools needed to learn Spanish.
Parent feedback has been positive as they express gratitude for the great job Fernández has been doing, and for the time and dedication she puts into each video so her students can keep learning from home.
“Children can learn a lot at home by helping with household chores as well,” said Fernández. “Keep supporting your children. As teachers, we appreciate all your help during these difficult times.”
Thank you, Mrs. Eugenia Fernández, for helping us make a difference together!