b'Bridging the distanceEducators across the region reached out through ever-changing challengestechnology, hybrid learning, hours of preparationto give their students heartfelt support.Dan Fitzsimmons, fifth grade teacher through art, reading, dancing, going outside and playing, he told them. Take screen breaks.Music was the best stressFocus on the positive.reliever during the pandemic By Fit Flyer staff for Dan Fitzsimmons, fifthWilliam Cramp Elementary Schoolgrade science and social studies teacher at William Cramp Elementary School.Diane Muller, principalBefore the pandemic, he told us in April, going to concertsDiane Muller, principal of St. was my biggest stress relief,Veronica Catholic School, said and I cant go to concerts now. Instead, listeningan important goal throughout at homeeven on breaks during the school day the pandemic was to keep was a stress reducer: everything from punk the sense of community alive.to classical music and New Orleans jazz. Mrs. Muller said school staff Teaching online had its challenges, he said. Stu- members worked hard to dent engagement and student work has been themake sure the students and most [challenging]. Students arent getting theirtheir families felt the strong connection to their work done and it eats away at me. Its been hard. teachers and friends. They asked students to send pictures as messages to their teachers. Some sent Social studies was easier than science. But evenvideos of themselves throwing snowballs, and the social studies was difficult without classroomschool used them in a video that showed everyone interaction while science, without lab time, was abuilding a snowman together.hot mess virtually. As the school year went on, he found that adding experiments that students Teachers and students have done something that could do at home helped.no one else in history has ever been asked to do before, Mrs. Muller said. Over a weekend, teach-Mr. Fitzsimmons encouraged students to look forers changed from teaching in-person to creating ways to let their stress out. Express yourself51'