Cupcakes aren’t usually part of Greg Heimlich’s lesson plans. But the shift to Distance Learning led to some creative thinking — and cupcakes.
As an Earth Science teacher, Heimlich relies heavily on fun and engaging lab work. But he found the labs he had prepared for his students were not conducive to Distance Learning as the girls didn’t have all the supplies in their homes.
That’s when the cupcakes came into play.
“The seventh grade girls have incorporated their baking skills into their lab assignments by doing cupcake core samples, designing edible layers of the Earth and soon they will be sorting through soil,” Heimlich said. “Science is a hands and minds on driven curriculum and I have tried to continue to use these principles to keep the girls engaged.”
Like many working parents right now, Heimlich is also trying to keep his two young daughters — Madeleine (5 ½) and Charlotte (1 ½) — engaged at the same time. Both working parents, Heimlich and his wife Dori have discovered a key to productivity as parents of young children — naptime.
“Usually both my wife and I try to get caught up on as much school work as possible,” Heimlich said. “Our older daughter does not nap anymore so she has ‘quiet time’ where she completes worksheets, plays with blocks and generally destroys her bedroom.”
And they still must find time to engage both of the girls in enriching activities while tending to their work. Admittedly, it’s often just about keeping their heads above water, Heimlich said. But it’s working as the seventh grade students are excited about learning.
“Greg is a hands-on advisor and creative teacher who is reimaging labs with home materials,” Director of Middle School Tonya Walker said.
Creativity and flexibility are not just working for the Heimlich family during this time, but for all teachers, students and families. Heimlich, who is new to St. Catherine’s this school year, is drawing inspiration from the strength of the School community.
“The highlight of Distance Learning is seeing how open-minded and supportive the entire St. Catherine’s community has been through this entire experience,” he said. “Students are doing their best to adapt to the new environment, parents have been super supportive and our team of teachers and administrators have worked endlessly through the days and nights.”