Tools for Teacher: ‘Flat Teachers’ connect Athens students to teachers

Tools for Teachers
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ATHENS, Ala. – Life changed almost instantly for thousands of students in March.

They’ve gone from the classroom with friends to learning at home and that’s been a tough adjustment.

WHNT News 19 wants to help provide ‘Tools for Teachers’ to keep the kids in Alabama engaged and educated while stuck at home.

The teachers at an Athens Elementary School found a creative way to keep their students connected beyond a computer screen.

“We were trying to decide on an idea of how to keep our kids connected to us.”

The kindergarten teachers at Fame Academy at Brookhill in Athens are using a classic children’s book series to stay in touch with their classes.

‘Flat Stanley’ is the inspiration behind ‘Flat Teachers,’ These cutouts have the teachers pictures on them.

Jesslyn Helton tells us the idea came from fellow teacher, Anna Spangler.

“She had done Flat Stanley in second grade where they actually take a Flat Stanley cutout and visit different places,” said Helton.

Helton says each teacher hand-delivered the flat teacher to our students’ front doorsteps.

Students now make their own adventures and share them. 

“My favorite thing to do with my flat teacher is doing the monkey bars with her,” said student Sadie Macy.

Students are taking their teachers everywhere.

“They are darling, let me just tell you! We have loved seeing the pictures.”

‘Flat Teachers’ are offering a connection that just hasn’t been available in a time of long-distance learning.

“It feels like she’s with me all the time,” said Sadie Macy.

“Anything that brings that joy to our kids we were so excited that it worked.”

Ms. Helton, Ms. Spangler, Ms. Tilley and Ms. Wilbanks have a message for their students.

“We love you, we miss you and we can’t wait to see where you take us this week.”

WHNT News 19 wants to hear from parents and teachers! Let us know how the switch is going for you.

  • If you have any advice or sources that may help others, we want to hear it!
  • If you have photos or videos that paint the picture, we’d love to see them!
  • Email us at with the subject “Tools For Teachers.”

Tools for Teachers is sponsored by: NAECUYellow Hammer Roofing and Oakwood University

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