Two Forest Hills teachers honored for meeting the challenge

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Colleton County School District is lucky to have many teachers and staff members that have risen to the challenge of educating our students during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. In this weekly series, CCSD will feature some of its employees who have truly made a difference for children in this very difficult time.

Our first spotlight will focus on two Forest Hills Elementary School teachers: Diamond Berry and Dustin Fitch.

Berry is a first-grade teacher who works in a blended classroom. Fitch is an instructional assistant who was asked to become a long-term substitute teacher in a third-grade virtual classroom.

FHE Principal Wilsey Hamilton said that both of these teachers have mastered teaching in their respective virtual/blended environments, and that their students love them.

Berry has adopted many practices to ensure that her students are remaining engaged, including physical activity breaks to restore focus and issuing prizes for good behavior. Berry has also helped her fellow teachers adapt to their new learning environments and refine their schedules to maximize student instructional time.

“I want to make sure that my student’s experience is as close to a regular classroom as possible,” Berry said. “I like a good challenge … I am always on my feet, looking for new ways to teach. I am competing with myself every day.”

Fitch has developed his own techniques to keep students engaged in his virtual classroom. In particular Fitch makes sure he is constantly interacting with his students so they can avoid distractions and complete their assignments.

“I make sure that I am asking my students questions, talking with them randomly so they can stay focused. But it’s important to do that in a positive way. I ask them about their weekend, what kind of activities they have done recently,” Fitch said. “I want to make my class as fun and interactive as possible.”

“CCSD thanks these two teachers for their dedication!” said CCSD Superintendent John Tindal.

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