VIDEO: Lochside Elementary teachers missing their students plan parade through community

Teachers and staff from Lochside Elementary School planned a parade through the community on Thursday to visit their students during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
A fire truck from the Saanich Fire Department led the Lochside teachers’ parade with lights and sirens blaring. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Families lined the parade route and some made their way down to the elementary school to watch the parade kick off. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Teachers made signs and decorated their cars with balloons to show their students some love during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Teachers made signs and decorated their cars with balloons to show their students some love during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Teachers and staff from Lochside Elementary School planned a parade through the community on Thursday to visit their students during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Teachers made signs and decorated their cars with balloons to show their students some love during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

It’s not every day Saanich residents get to see a parade of teachers coming down their streets but on Wednesday afternoon, that’s exactly what Lochside Elementary School students witnessed.

On April 22, a caravan of teachers and staff – led by a fire truck with lights and sirens blaring – paraded through the community to say hello to their students who are isolated from one another due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Little libraries stock chalk across Greater Victoria to spread positive messages

Despite the rain, teachers decorated their vehicles with balloons, posters and streamers and marshalled outside the elementary school on Wednesday morning. The parade route took the group all through the school’s catchment area – down side roads and cul-de-sacs alike – so that they could visit as many students as possible from the safety of their cars.

The school’s bright green mascot, the Lochside Lizard, brought up the rear and waved to students from the moon-roof of the last vehicle. Families and kids with colourful raincoats and umbrellas lined the streets to wave to their teachers who they hadn’t seen in more than a month. Many were carrying signs and posters they’d made to show their teachers as the parade passed by.

“It was so great,” said Lochside kindergarten teacher Carolin McDonnell. “I, myself, got emotional.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Sooke teachers are ‘feeling good,’ show it off in song and dance for students

Teacher librarian Laura Molloy pitched the idea for the parade during a virtual staff meeting and everyone loved the idea, McDonnell said. She created the route and other details fell into place. The rain wasn’t ideal but McDonnell pointed out that when events don’t quite go as planned, they usually end up being more memorable.

She said the parade was part of an effort to stay connected to students as “remote learning in a crisis” doesn’t match the classroom experience. Students miss socializing and so do their teachers.

“We’re all trying to find ways to keep that relationship going” with the students, McDonnell said. “We all needed this.”

The students were so excited to see the fire truck leading the parade, McDonnell added. In the true community spirit, the truck was driven by a teacher’s husband who is a member of the Saanich Fire Department.

McDonnell acknowledged that teachers felt bad about driving in a parade on Earth Day but decided that having the teachers drive out to the students was better for the environment than having the families drive to the school.

READ ALSO: Parents not teachers, rather facilitators, says Victoria school board chair


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

CoronavirusGreat TeachersSaanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

Victoria man identified as victim in Thunder Bay murder

Police investigating after Paul Vivier, 29, discovered in hotel

Fire at Victoria hotel contained to one room, leaves 20 suites in need of remediation

Fire crews extinguished the blaze at the Comfort Inn in 12 minutes

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read