The Northwest Independent School District in Tarrant County marks a big milestone Monday. The district moves into face-to-face instruction after starting the year virtually three weeks ago.
“My heart is just bursting with excitement," said Niki Butley, a kindergarten teacher at Hughes Elementary.
Last week, the district hosted Meet the Teacher Night, and Butley finally got to meet the 15 students who will be in her classroom.
“I’ve always enjoyed Meet the Teacher night every year but this one was just that more special because to me, we had to wait so long to get to see them,” Butley said.
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Lucas Roberts, 6, will be in Butley’s class. Dad Craig Roberts says his son has done well online but after being in the school and meeting his teacher, he cannot wait to be in his classroom.
“He was so excited 'cuz it's his first time in a school, you know. So that was very special to watch him and see how he interacted with his teacher and meeting her for the first time face to face. He loved it,” Roberts said.
Butley loved it too and shared an interesting observation about meeting her students.
“They look so much smaller on Zoom, and it was neat to see them in person because they look smaller. You forget in kindergarten how small they can be,” she laughed.
It’s a point not lost on Lucas’ parents. He’s the youngest of three, and Craig Roberts believes Monday will be tougher on him and his wife than their son.
“It’s gonna be waterworks, for sure, not being able to walk him in, that's a little sad but we got to do that this past Tuesday, but kudos to the district for setting that up and letting us have that experience with him,” Roberts said.
He also gives props to the Northwest ISD for the communication through the summer and the days leading up to face-to-face learning.
“We feel very confident. We’re very excited. We’ve all been cooped up for the past six months, so for him to actually be able to go to school is a win,” Roberts said. “We have no doubt it will be a great and safe opportunity for him to go back to school.”
Safety is paramount for Butley, too.
The veteran teacher says her goals on day one will be to get to know her students, go over classroom rules, remind the kids about masks and social distancing. “But at the same time, I want to get the message across, we are still a team,” she said.