STAFFORD, Va. — Looking at her students through a computer camera is certainly not how Megan Bush expected to end the school year.
Unfortunately, that is the reality for Bush and her third-grade class at Kate Waller Barrett Elementary School in Stafford County.
"They mean the world to me. I have been devastated that this has happened. I got into this profession because of kids, so it's hard to do my job when I don't have scholars in front of me," Bush said.
Distance learning is also the reality for so many teachers and students all over the world because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bush checks in with her students a couple of times a week through Zoom or Google Meet to keep their relationships strong.
"To keep them going and check-in to make sure they're doing OK, and still able to see each other and see us. We are a class family, so the more we stay together the stronger we are," Bush said.
Right before closing the chapter with this class, she wanted to give them a chance to show off their talents. That meant organizing a virtual talent show on Zoom.
Some of the students wrote their own songs, some played piano and others brought their best artwork.
It was a special way to cap off an unexpected year. But Bush knows that this time has served as an important lesson for her students.
"I think it's brought the sense of family, enjoying the little things and just laughing together. Those little things we take for granted are now so important for us," she said.
Friday is the last day of school for Stafford County Public Schools. The entire elementary school will be logged onto Zoom for a virtual pep rally that day. Bush and her students hope to meet up over the summer to celebrate the end of the school year in person.