Teachers and Students Back for School at Brainerd’s Riverside Elementary
School is back in session! With Labor Day over and the summer almost gone, teachers and students at Riverside Elementary in Brainerd got back into their normal routines.
But with things like online learning and masking in schools the past two years, getting an education has been anything but normal.
“We’re really fortunate that this year, we get to start this year and be together, being able to see all the children’s bright smiling faces and the children being able to see our bright smiling faces makes the world of difference,” said principal Jill Bjorge.
Hannah True, a secretary-turned-teacher at the school, has also seen a very big change in positive engagement when talking with parents and students.
“Last year I remember lots of nervousness with the COVID and the masks, so I got to see a lot of [the] parents’ side of things,” said True, who teaches first grade. “When I was in the classroom, though, today, I saw a lot of the parents coming in with me and just being excited not to be masked.”
The week starts out simple with the first day consisting of basics and learning how to be behave to ensure the safety of all students. There is also a main focus on positive affirmation and helping nervous kids or students who don’t have confidence.
As a former Riverside student and now a staff member, True reflected on how great the place has been and how it has impacted her life.
“Ever since I was a kindergartner here, I felt welcomed and that hasn’t changed as an adult and as a teacher,” said True. “I think that the atmosphere Riverside creates is just positive, welcoming, and then again, it’s just a place to belong for everyone.”
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