During COVID-19, Teachers Find Humor with Poetry and Parody

By: Jen Russon

Amid a global pandemic, third-grade teachers at Eagle Ridge Elementary School found a creative way to inspire their students, using poetry and a riff to a well-known Bee Gees song.

Rather than “Stayin’ Alive,” the six teachers conducted their poetry unit on Zoom by singing ‘Stayin’ Inside.”

“We wanted to let our students know that we miss them and that as crappy as it is to be apart and stuck at home all these weeks, we can still be creative and find a bit of humor in our isolation,” said Michelle Valentine.

For over 20 years, Valentine has been a teacher – the lion’s share of that time teaching gifted students for Broward County public schools.

With her fellow third-grade teachers, Katie Delage, Michelle Knobel, Karen Kroll, Alycia Stallings, and Wendy Strachan, Valentine recited a few Coronavirus poems about social distancing, hand washing and keeping the pandemic at bay.

So far, so good – as none of the teachers has sung about Saturday Night Fever since the Bee Gees inspired poetry unit began.

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“Coronavirus, please go away,” the teachers said. They also presented an acrostic poem that made positive words out of letters, spelling out the name of the virus that closed schools on March 13.

Valentine said her students have taken to remote learning like ducks to water, and that the students would be tasked with writing two original poems of their own during April, National Poetry Month.

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