“My job is to teach them the fundamentals, but the most important job I have is making sure they love school, they feel important and their voices are counted,” Robinson told ABC News. “I get to be the first teacher most of my students have ever had besides their parents."
When the school district notified families and faculty that they had to close on March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Robinson took action.
“Just because something bad in the world is happening doesn’t mean learning stops,” said Robinson, a 14-year teaching veteran.
Since their time together has been cut short, Robinson wanted to keep the love of reading alive for her students. Along with the other teachers, Robinson assembled reading packets for her students. Instead of dropping them back off at the school for the parents to go pick up, Robinson drops off each individual packet at her students' homes every two weeks.
Parents told ABC News that Robinson has gone above and beyond for students.
"Mrs. Robinson has really gone the extra mile to make sure the kids still keep engaged with her, and that is really appreciated," Vaneesh Kapoor, whose 5-year-old Rishiv is in Robinson's class.
“The students think I live at school, so when they see me at their house they are in shock,” she said of her students' reactions to seeing her outside of the classroom. “We’re huggers, they wanted to hug me. Now we do foot taps."
Making virtual Kindergarten classes a reality
Now Robinson and her fellow teachers practice “distance learning,” holding virtual classes for the students' phonics lessons to teach them sounds, letters and numbers. Every morning, she sends lessons to parents via email and uploads videos to Youtube as well.
"It's so funny when we do the meetings because the kids don't think we can see them and they make the funniest faces,” she joked.
Robinson uses Zoom to help with interactive lessons like virtual scavenger hunts.
"I'll tell them to go find something in your house that starts with an 'M’ and then bring it back."
Kapoor said the videos have kept Rishiv engaged even though his son "misses the daily interactions with his teachers, classmates and upperclassmen."
"Rishiv looks forward to seeing Mrs. Robinson’s videos every day and is very actively interacting when he watches," Kapoor said
During this stressful time for families and teachers, Robinson said parents are “being a great resource” in this process.
“We are really relying on and are asking so much from them,” she said.