- Sponsorship -

Oh no, I’m late! Oh wait, I’m not

Teachers welcome students back to virtual school

It looks like a school kid’s worst nightmare: waking up late on the first day of school! But it’s actually teacher Matt Banta popping open his eyes, jumping up in a panic and racing to school – only to find that it’s closed because, of course, Rockford schools are all-virtual for the first three weeks.

Banta, a seven-year physical education teacher for Rockford Public Schools, made the funny but informative video for his 600 students at Belmont and Cannonsburg elementary schools. It was his way of reminding them that school is all online beginning on the first day, which was Monday.

“I wanted to make something that would help everyone relax about school starting,” said Banta, who recorded the video on his iPad. “I hope that people will watch this and realize that even though we’re not in a normal situation, things are going to be okay and their teachers are still there for them to help them succeed.”

Besides the fun stuff, like waking up on a football pillow and dashing to school in a cowboy hat, Banta offers practical information to his pupils on how to get started online. “We’re going to do a lot of the same stuff we’ve done before, but you’ll be able to tune in and watch it on Google Meet, which is going to be super-awesome,” he tells them.

Other teachers also sent students welcome-back videos. Valley View fourth grade teachers Teresa Babcock and Jennifer Bakita put together an introductory video that walks students through their online learning programs. And Valley View second grade teacher Amy Gardner sent her kids an “All About Me Goose Chase” enabling them to walk around Rockford with an adult and find QR codes that tell more about her.

With so much negativity in the air, Banta said he wants his video to reach parents and students, “and if only for a few minutes, give them a good piece of news to watch.”

- Sponsorship -
Charles Honey
Charles Honey
Charles Honey is editor-in-chief of SNN, and covers Rockford and Grand Rapids. As a reporter for The Grand Rapids Press/mLive from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years and its columnist for 20. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today, Religion News Service and Faith & Leadership magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.


Fourth-grade hockey fan gets a magical hour on ice: ‘I made the shot!’

Raised as a Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins hockey fan, Jackson Solow lights up while skating on an ice rink wearing his favorite hockey jersey...

‘This time it is continued learning’

One school’s switch from in-person to virtual education last week was nearly seamless, especially when compared with the forced school closure in March...

Foundation grants $28,285 in fall funding requests

Virtual phys ed and art experiences, materials to improve classroom focus and books on social issues aimed at middle-schoolers are among the grants approved this fall...

Latest school closings expand on state-ordered high school mandate

More Kent County districts continue to announce temporary school building closures, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Students find a quiet place to chill out: the hygge room

A calming “hygge room” has become a popular part of Roguewood Elementary’s mental-health supports for students during the pandemic...

Major factor in school closings: evidence of virus spread

While the Kent County Health Department is working hard with superintendents to keep schools open, sometimes closing is the best way to mitigate spread...

High school, Freshman Center closed for two weeks after virus outbreak

Rockford High School and Freshman Center are closed until Oct. 23 after 17 students tested positive for COVID-19...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU