Emerald North State School teachers Sarah Hardy and Taylah Fitzpatrick wrote messages on the pavement for their students.
Emerald North State School teachers Sarah Hardy and Taylah Fitzpatrick wrote messages on the pavement for their students.

Teachers take positivity to the streets

SOME teachers don’t need chalkboards to get a message to their students.

Emerald North State School’s Year 5 teacher Sarah Hardy and Year 3 teacher Taylah Fitzpatrick have been visiting the driveways of school families and leaving messages of encouragement on the pavement.

The idea came to them when, during a walk outside, a colleague saw a message from a student that said Ms Hardy was the student’s favourite teacher.

“We thought, ‘We have to respond to this’,” Miss Fitzpatrick said. “We responded to that one and thought, ‘Why don’t we just do all the kids in our classes?’”

The teachers estimated about 30 families had so far received the chalk message that ‘an amazing ENSS family lives here!’ or that ‘ENSS misses you!’

The gesture was meant to provide an element of positivity during a tumultuous situation at schools for teachers and families alike.

“It’s a very stressful time for everyone,” Miss Fitzpatrick said.

“This is a nice way to bring some encouragement and a smile to the kids and the families’ faces. To let them know we haven’t forgotten about them and we miss them a lot.

“We’re looking to expand it and get other teachers involved as well.”

Ms Hardy said the shift to teaching and learning remotely had “been a learning curve for everyone involved”, but families appreciated efforts to stay in touch as much as possible.

“It’s a been a different experience,” she said, “but we’re calling families as much as we can.

“They’ve emailed us pictures of the kids out with the message saying that it really brightened their day.

“We’re looking forward to seeing our kids again.”

The message from Ms Hardy and Miss Fitzpatrick.
The message from Ms Hardy and Miss Fitzpatrick.

Head of curriculum Kirstine Williams said she thought the messages were “a great initiative”.

“They decided that it was something they really wanted to do for their students because they were feeling concerned for the families that were at home and wanted to extend some kindness out to our school community,” she said.


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