According to Good Morning America (GMA), Jonte Lee is a chemistry and physics teacher at Calvin Coolidge High School located in Washington, D.C. who has completely transformed his home kitchen into a chemistry lab to effectively conduct experiments virtually for his students during the pandemic.
“The reason why I turned my kitchen into a chemistry lab is for the love of my students,” said Lee in an interview on GMA.
In honor of National Teacher Day, GMA highlighted and celebrated those teachers who stepped up and went above and beyond for students adjusting to school at home in the midst of the pandemic.
For Lee, the demonstrations have helped students to remain engaged on a personal level even though they’re not with him physically.
“When you have that great relationship with a student, you can push them forward academically,” shared Lee. “You are allowed to challenge them and those students rise up and meet the challenge.”
During his appearance on GMA, Lee was surprised with thoughtful messages from some of his students.
“I miss you so much,” shared one student. “You’re my favorite teacher because you’re always coming up with new ways to engage students – from group projects to games, and even snacks – I appreciate all that you do. Thank you.”
Not only has he received outstanding participation numbers from students, but they’re completing their work in a timely manner and fully showing up each and every day.
“I have gotten 100% participation from my students. They complete the work, they ask questions,” continued Lee. “They don’t just come with their brain — they come with their hearts, their personalities. And that helps form a great student-teacher relationship. If that’s strong, I can push them forward academically.”
He also admits that virtual learning is just as hard on him as a teacher as it may be for his students.
“With any teacher, if we cannot see our students and we do not know if they are OK… if they’re having a great day, a not-so-great day, did something happen, did something not exciting happen,” said Lee. “We do not just educate the brain of the child, we educate the whole child.”
Shoutout to Jonte Lee and all of the wonderful teachers that are helping the babies navigate through online learning!