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4th grade teacher creates funny videos to connect with students amid coronavirus, COVID-19

Falmouth Elementary School teacher Jen Merrifield creates one of a kind videos as a way to help normalize remote learning.

FALMOUTH, Maine — Jen Merrifield teaches 4th grade at Falmouth Elementary School. This is her 29th year of teaching, and due to COVID-19, it's one of the most challenging.

"The hardest part is making sure we are connecting with our kids, that's why we go into teaching to be with our students and have that one on one face to face connection," Merrifield said. 

Her students, now learning from home, miss their teacher.

"She made us like learning, she made us motivated in the AM to get working," 4th grader Harrison Rana said.

Fellow classmate Eleanor Clark says, "she's really funny, she always like has something up her sleeve for us to do, something funny."

So, Mrs. Merrified decided, in addition to her lesson plans, she would create videos that not only deliver important messages, but showcase the charismatic personality her students have come to know and love. 

"I'm always excited to see them because they always make my day because they're really funny," Eleanor said.

"I really like them, they are amazing," Harrison said. His mom Christie added "and very entertaining, yes."

Parents like Christie who have now become teacher's helpers, appreciate all the effort.

"I think it immediately engages them in and gets them excited for what she's going to be teaching them that day."

Merrifield says as hard as remote learning is for students teachers are struggling as well. 

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"We went into this profession for a love of our students, wanting to be there on their up days and down days and we can't do that like we were trained. We're trying to so the best we can with the situation that has been given to us."

Merrifield says the videos, while a lot of work on top of conference calls and lesson plans, are totally worth it.

"Anything we can do to lesson the anxiety of our students and help support our parents that's again why we do this."

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus