Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy pre-K teacher Mandy Hunt knows how to pivot. She does it with grace and makes it look easy. It is anything but easy, however.
When Hunt began the 2020-2021 school year, she took on the challenge of teaching a virtual class of 4-year-olds. Not only did she learn how to teach children through the Zoom venue, she also began an unprecedented career in video creation. Hunt learned through trial and error how to film herself teaching and became an expert at splitting her screen and showing materials while she sang, danced, and event went on scavenger hunts with students or just curled up with them and read a good story.
Principal Leah Miller says that because of Hunt, students who participated in at-home learning did not fall behind when they started kindergarten this year.
“Students remained connected with the school and with Hunt as their teacher,” Miller said. “Mrs. Hunt spent a great deal of time making sure that they were interesting and engaging despite her audience being on the other side of a camera lens.”
With all CCISD students, including Pre-K students, receiving their own electronic devices and the district moving more into a blended learning platform, Hunt has shared her knowledge with other staff members and pivoted back to teaching students on campus.
“Mrs. Hunt has taken on a leadership role to educate other teachers on how they can utilize technology efficiently in the classroom,” Miller said. “She created how-to videos for teachers to enhance their lessons and grow our students’ knowledge and comfort level with using technology.”
Hunt has developed lessons based on the needs of individual students. She creates seesaw lessons targeting skills for students who need extra help with skills as well as lessons for students who need more challenging work.
Hunt also created special pages that all teachers on campus may add to their Schoology pages in order to celebrate special events such as a Dr. Seuss page Hunt created to honor Seuss’ birthday and National Read Across America Day.
“Mandy Hunt is an inspirational teacher who wants to do the best she can for both students and teachers,” Miller said. “She will cover classes or other assignments if staff members are off campus due to illness and she does all of this with a smile.”