Cards in the Time of Covid

The cards I write for my students each year, are always a challenge to start; Even more so when the majority of our time together was through a screen.

How do you get to know your students when they are the size of a postage stamp during a digital class meeting? The answer is you really don’t.

Once we were back in the classroom for half days I devised a plan to learn a little bit more about my students through the clever use of writing prompts. Samples writing prompts were: “If you could be one animal/person/fictional character for one day, what or whom would you be?”, “If you could time travel to any time or place, where would you go?”, and “What is the most treasured person or thing in your life?”

As I have written before, my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Noether, provided me with the inspiration for these cards. As much as I want to end the tradition this year, because this was such a difficult year, each card that I wrote and illustrated was a balm to the tough school year. These cards were a “reaching out” to the distance learning students that eventually came home to Team 17.

This year’s illustrations where as diverse as my 29 students. The subjects includes pandas, Eurasian hoopoe (the official bird of Israel), the Liverpool FC crest, Ballon d’or winner Robert Lewandowski, a humpback whale, Godzilla, Yogi Berra (with many of his quotes), a F-16 Fighting Falcon, a greater flamingo, Chimney Rock, Pac Man, Calvin and Hobbes, Southern Pacific’s #4449, Rick Astley (who knew), and a goblin shark.

A work in progress. An object I love to illustrate is one of the most beautiful stream locomotives even built: Southern Pacific’s GS-4. This card is for a fellow train fan in my class. Design-wise I was illustrating across the gutter. The letter was written in the white area left by the exhaust. As a rule, I never publish the contents of the letter because that is a message from me to my student.

One thought on “Cards in the Time of Covid

  1. Your cards are definitely a “work of heart”, John. They will be, I’m sure, treasured by your students. They are so fortunate to have shared this year with you. I hope you have a great summer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s