When Brady Schvaneveldt’s U.S. history students couldn’t be in the classroom with him because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly adjusted his teaching style and utilized technology to keep them engaged. Schvaneveldt often reminded students of his video office hours, “Whether it’s school stuff or life stuff, I’ve got you covered.”
Just before schools closed to slow the spread of COVID-19, Schvaneveldt’s eighth-grade students were preparing team presentations, complete with dioramas and sometimes costumes and one-act plays. Schvaneveldt had students record their presentations and enlist the help of siblings. Some younger brothers and sisters made their middle school and acting debuts early, thanks to the history class assignment to explain Manifest Destiny.
Schvaneveldt sent weekly emails to students and their parents with assignments and test reminders, but he also posted encouraging videos and held a weekly Google Meet for kids who wanted to participate. He had a scavenger hunt, a baby picture guessing game, pet show and tell, and weird talent show. Even reluctant students were won over by Schvaneveldt’s enthusiasm and creativity.
“Every single one of you have changed my life. I hope that as the year goes on and we finish online school you know how proud I am of all of you for being so resilient. You are writing history,” Schvaneveldt wrote to his students. He encouraged them to take the final and finish strong. “This is not about grades, this is about finishing something you started. When we don’t finish what we start, we lose confidence and trust in ourselves. Whatever finishing strong means to you, do it. And do it now.”
Schvaneveldt went the extra mile for Willowcreek students when they couldn’t be at school and reminded them of their strength and capability. Central Bank is proud to name him Educator of the Month.