WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The inauguration of Joe Biden is an event that can serve many educational purposes, but for teachers working remotely, it opened up new options for lesson plans.
Kimberlee Hughes is a social studies teacher at Mayberry Middle School and said on Wednesday that she asked students to turn the television during school time, a request that wasn’t over the top for a day like Inauguration Day.
“This is your history,” said Hughes. “You need to take it seriously because it’s yours.”
That message is what Hughes wanted her students to take away from the big way. She also focused on the role of the president and connected it to past historical events.
“When President Biden was sworn in, we got to watch that in one of my classes,” said Hughes. “So, what we’re going to do with the magic of technology, I’m going to show part of that to all my classes.”
This inauguration looks quite different. Not just because of COVID-19 precautions, but because of the display of diversity. Teachers said that’s something their students noticed.
“When we say, ‘you can do this, you can make changes,’ I think they see that as more of a possibility,” said Hughes.
For the many educators under quarantine during this time, the lesson still went on.
Kim Noller, a music teacher at Maize South Elementary School, knew she wouldn’t be in class in-person for the historic day, so she wrote and recorded a song about America and unity instead.
“It just really hit me with everything we’ve been through over the last year especially,” said Noller.
Noller said the song just flowed as she started to write and was inspired by a Langston Hughes’ poem her son sent to her.
“I know many of my teacher friends have focused on respect no matter what, and we’re moving forward,” said Noller. “We want them to understand that there is a new hope for the future.”
Teachers said they plan to continue the conversation in their upcoming lesson plans.
To hear the full song written and performed by Noller, click here.