Grand Prairie ISD

Teacher Uses Classroom Cutouts to Keep Connected With Virtual Learning Students

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A Grand Prairie ISD teacher is being celebrated for her innovation and inspiration in keeping students connected and engaged.

Second-grade teacher Jennifer Avila couldn’t imagine starting the school year without her students in the classroom and only seeing them virtually. So, she came up with a plan.

“I was just going to have empty desks and empty chairs and so I started thinking,” Avila said. “I watch soccer games and baseball games and we see that they have the heads at the stadium and they put the electronics so the player feels like the fans are there. Why can’t I do the same thing?”          

She reached out to parents and asked them to email pictures of their students. Aliva printed them out and put the cutout students in their desks.

“It’s motivation for me because even though they aren’t here, I know that I am impacting their lives,” Aliva said. “Which is the reason that we become teachers. Because we want to have an impact.”

The students also have a bitmoji cutout of Aliva they can have with them for their virtual lessons.

“Their safety is the most important thing,” Aliva said. “Whatever keeps us going. To me, my little babies are what keeps me going.”

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