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Chesterfield teacher focuses on maintaining relationships with her students

Posted at 9:05 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 09:19:12-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- It’s storytime for 1st-grade students who attended Bellwood Elementary School in North Chesterfield.

This morning, it’s on Zoom.

Like a lot of teachers, Saida Bouhajja is trying to find new ways to teach and stay in touch with her students. Just like when they were in school, she starts every day with a morning meeting.

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“When I reflected on our class' favorite times of the day throughout the year, they always said the morning meeting and our read aloud,” she said.

Ms. Bouhajja is part of a group of teachers at Bellwood sharing and planning classes they can bring to their kids online and by mail.

She says the important thing for her is to maintain those relationships.

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"I think it's really important during these times that we've never really seen before that we show and value and model how relationships matter,” she said.

That includes maintaining relationships with parents and keeping them informed.

"We're providing family meetings at home that families can follow along with to practice some oral language skills and some emotional development skills along with a little sprinkled in learning,” she said. “I didn't get into being a teacher to teach content. I got into it because I know a school is a safe place for so many students. And that is very near and dear to my heart."

Building and maintaining those relationships is Building Better Minds.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on CBS 6 and is sponsored by Virginia Family Dentistry.

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