Singing Fairmont teacher a hit with students

Fairmont High School math teacher Tim Guindon has found a way to use music to keep his students motivated and connected while they are learning at-a-distance during the coronavirus outbreak.

His parody of music star Adele’s song, “Hello” was a hit with his students and staff.

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Guindon, 31, has been teaching high school math at Fairmont for six years, grew up in Bellbrook and attended Wright State and the University of Dayton.

His wife, Chelsea, recommended the Adele song that Guindon performed in the video and he came up with the lyrics.

“I sat down and didn’t intend for it to be as sentimental as it ended,” he said. “I think it is right to say that we are heartbroken that we aren’t in the classroom with our students and don’t get to see their faces until May 1, if that.”

Looking into the camera during the video’s intro, Guindon playfully parodies the singer’s song, “hello, hello can you hear me?” Then, while playing the guitar to his version, reminds students with a variety of clever lyrics that, “hello it’s me, let’s all chat on Zoom or maybe we will try Google Me. We will try to cover everything. They say I am supposed to teach you, so prepare for some learning.”

Of course the pandemic is addressed in his song, “I am in quarantine dreaming about how it used to be. hand sanitizer and TP I forgot how it felt when we could stand within six feet. The social distance between us feels like a million miles..”

He poignantly reminds students during the song that he misses them and it is breaking his heart.

“Remember you matter even when we are apart for so long.,” he sings at the end of the video.

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The learning at a distance model has the potential to turn teachers into just robots on a screen and students as just another numbers on a screen, Guindon said.

“I really rely on a sense of humor to connect with my students and connecting with my students is something I look forward to each day,” he told the Dayton Daily News. “I wanted to communicate with the students that we are going to get through this and we are going to have fun doing it.”

Guindon shared his video on Google classroom for all of his students and also staff at the school to see and the feedback has been heartwarming.

Matt Kesner, one of the guidance counselors at Fairmont, said it will have a long-lasting positive impact.

“This is the stuff that our students will remember 20 years from now when their kids are asking about 2020 and COVID-19,” he said. “They’ll know the math, but they’ll remember their teachers making a weird situation better.”

Sophomore student Savanna Vickers noted that E-Learning is a big transition from physically being at school to working at home and the Guindon’s video was inspirational.

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“At school, I tend to be more focused in my classes, while at home, there are distractions that can cause me to procrastinate throughout the day,” she said. “I must say though, I miss interacting with my friends and teachers and participating in after school activities. In the mean time, videos like Mr. Guindon’s, makes me have less anxiety about E-Learning and I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester.”

Zachary Warren is a senior at Fairmont High School and when learning at a distance started as he was entering his last quarter of high school, he was worried about grades, and how he would complete projects as well as, maintaining contact with his teachers.

“Now, it’s pretty much a matter of establishing a daily routine in getting on Google Classroom, reading and watching teacher announcements, and completing assignments on time and with quality,” Warren said, noting that Guindon’s video hits home because it’s different not being physically in class. “To me, the hardest part in all of this is not being able to go to school. Of course, we are still technically participating in school, but it’s not the same.”

Students have been informed that all awards ceremonies, prom, and other gatherings have been canceled and will not be rescheduled.

“This to me was a huge bummer, especially since I was really looking forward to being recognized for all the hard work I’ve put in the last four years, and finally going to a school dance,” Warren said. “I think I speak for a lot of students - seniors especially - that it will be a very disappointing end the year and for our high school careers.”

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