Local teacher brings the classroom to the driveway for student struggling with distance learning

Special Reports

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With schools closed, teachers are doing their best to keep students engaged with online learning. But what do you do when you have a child who just can’t learn that way? When you have a special teacher, there’s always a way.

Cody Belus is like a lot of kids right now. He’s stuck at home, bored and trying to make heads or tails of distance learning.

“Horrible. I can’t do this without help.”

It broke his mom’s heart to watch her son struggle.

“He’s really frustrated,” she said. “It’s hard for him to do it at home. He really needs the teacher contact.”

So his teacher, Rachael Mann, of Lisha Kill Middle School, did contact him.

“I would call, Facetime,” Mann said. “We were trying Google Meets. Nothing was really working.”

When Cody stopped logging on, Mann applied a more direct lesson plan.

“So then she said, ‘I’m gonna come over to your driveway.'”

And that’s exactly what she did. If Cody couldn’t go to school, the school would come to Cody.

And, there, under the shade of an apple tree, Cody parked himself, and a driveway became his classroom.

“Yesterday, my daughter was with me, and was like, ‘Mom, this is the weirdest thing ever,'” Mann recalled.

Weird but working.

“I was shocked. I was happy. They had a great time. It worked perfect,” Cody’s mom said.

“It’s going wonderful,” Mann said. “He’s doing a good job. He’s actually learning the math curriculum, which was not happening trying to do it on a computer.”

Of course, when there’s a teacher in the trunk, you can’t be inside playing video games.

“At first I didn’t like it, but now I’m glad,” Cody said.

Both Cody and his mom agree that Mann is a great teacher.

“Amazing. I just love her,” his mom said.

Yet the greatest lesson being taught isn’t in the textbooks. It’s showing a struggling child, in scary times, I’ve got ya.

“I just wanted to make sure Cody could still learn while we were still home,” Mann said.

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