MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Teachers are used to getting creative to make things work for their students, especially during this time of distance learning.
But Eliza Robertson, a special needs teacher from Fergus Falls, has really embraced her creative side — hook, line and sinker.
“Our kids are used to that connection, so when we don’t have it, it makes it really, really hard for us to connect with them,” Robertson said.
Like so many teachers, Robertson misses her students. She teaches special education at Lakes Country Academy in Alexandria. When the school doors closed, so did her classroom options.
“We thought about putting walls in our basement, to put in an office to sound proof it, but there was nothing working,” she said.
So she threw out a line, looking for another building to set up shop.
“I just said I need a ‘she shed.’ Something I can put in my back yard and turn into a miniature classroom,” Robertson said.
A group called “Helping Hands of Alexandria” helped put the word out. And that’s when Brian and Karen Larson took the bait. The couple had a building that had spent the winter on the ice.
“She inboxed me and I sent her some pictures and the next day we took it to Fergus Falls,” Karen Larson said.
And yes, teaching out of an ice house may just be the most Minnesotan thing ever.
“I had images of four plywood walls that were 4 x 4 and a hole in the ground,” Robertson said. “I was very shocked to see the great craftsmanship and how perfect it really was going to be.”
Coincidentally, her classroom theme this year is “Under the Sea.”
“I’m just excited that if I can help someone out with something like that, I will do it,” Larson said.
Funny how a small space can open up a whole, new world.
“Kids love it. It’s magical, it’s fun, it’s exciting,” Robertson said. “Teacher mentality is we are used to doing without. We do our best to make it happen and thanks to the Larsons, it’s happening.”
Larson said that was the first fish house her husband Brian ever made.
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