BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) -- When Early County Schools dismissed on March 13th teachers thought it would only be one week before their classrooms were full again.
“We sent home some packets thinking we'll see our kids in a week and then a week became two weeks and now we're not scheduled until the earliest April 27,” says Early County Elementary third grade teacher Crystal Crozier.
With an unexpected break that's lasting longer than anticipated, teachers never got a chance to say goodbye.
As coronavirus cases increase in Early County by the day, a shelter in place order was issued.
Now a teacher parade like other school systems are doing isn't an option.
“We don't want to put them at risk or ourselves at risk by going out in the public,” says the Early County School principal Matthew Cullifer.
That's when Crozier got the idea to compile messages from her and other teachers to students into one video.
They might remember what I taught them years ago but they will remember how I made them feel and to me that's one of the most important things about being an educator. So being able to reach out to my students to let them know that I love them and that I miss them, that's important to me.
Some teachers said I miss you with a dance. Others said it without saying a single word.
The teachers received messages and comments from parents saying how happy students were to see them.
Teachers also found comfort in the video.
“It helped me see that I’m not alone. That my other teachers feel just the way that I feel and the biggest thing about it is that we just all miss our jobs. We miss our coworkers and we miss those kids. We want to be with those students,” says Crozier.
They also discovered a renewed passion to teach.
“This has given all of us a time to sit back and reflect and think about why we got into education in the first place. We're really realizing that it's about the kids and what we do for them,” says Cullifer.
Early County was planning to return on April 27th, but yesterday the president extended social distancing guidelines through April 30th.
See the full video at https://www.facebook.com/EarlyCountyElementarySchool/videos/2684637918470370