COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - An elementary school principal in Kershaw County has found a creative way to stay in touch with his students. Wateree Elementary School Principal, Dr. Charles King, is using Facebook videos to teach kids basic life lessons.
Every morning for the last two weeks, Dr. King has woken up and filmed a short video to share with his students on his personal Facebook page and on the school’s online learning system. In the videos, the 30-year educator sings educational and funny songs, teaches kids about life on his farm and even shows them how to cook and exercise. They’re also educational.
“I say to my kids in pretty much every video or every correspondence or interaction I have with them, read read read. The more you read, the better you get at it, the better you get at it, the smarter you get," said Dr. King.
It’s a way to get kids excited about learning, and for Wateree Elementary families, like the Reilly’s, watching Dr. King’s videos has become part of their morning routine.
“Every day, whenever we would get out of our cars, he would be out there greeting us into the school and saying hello our colossal Cardinals, and now he’s just on a camera talking to us and reminding us he’s still with us,” said Wateree Elementary student body president, Mia Reilly.
The videos have become so popular that students from other schools in the Midlands are tuning in. “It has you in a mood where you can do your work in the morning, so you can get it done faster instead of being all sleepy and not doing the work. He makes you excited and want to do the work," Lugoff Elementary student Eemia Childers said.
Right now, learning is completely online and Dr. King says a big part of school is the relationships students form with their teachers and friends. He says while he can’t fist bump or hug his students in the bus line or hallway, he can let them know he’s still there for them.
“A part of this videoing I’m doing is to let them know the school is still here, I’m still here, my staff is still here as well, and that we will be here when they get back because they are the reason we’re here to start with. So, I’m trying to stay positive to give some degree of normalcy and stability to the kids and hopefully the parents and other members of the community as well," said Dr. King.
He says he doesn’t do it for the recognition, but to let students know that their teachers and principals care. "The videos only take a couple of minutes to do, and it’s worth it to me if it touches one kid and makes them feel a little bit better about what’s going on right now."
Dr. King says online learning isn’t intended to be a replacement for in-person teaching, but it is making it easier for teachers to offer some instruction during this unprecedented time away from the school. He says he plans to continue to post the daily videos throughout the duration of this school closure.