Westfield High School math teacher Callie Campbell is used to starting every class with a joke.
With schools closed and students learning virtually in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, that changed. But Campbell's found a way around it.
Campbell has been used poster board to write out math puzzles and jokes for the passing walkers and cars, and anyone on social media who happens to stumble upon her widely shared photos.
"Teaching and learning is different now," said Campbell, a WHS graduate herself (Class of 2006). "So I wanted to create a resource to foster a dialogue and create excitement about math for anyone out getting some fresh air."
She lives on a fairly high-trafficked street right across from one of the elementary schools -- so posting it out front of her home seemed like a way to reach a lot of people while still following social distancing guidelines, the teacher said.
Each day, Campbell prepares posters including answers to yesterday's math problem and a fresh joke.
"Why was the equal sign so humble?" she posted Thursday. "Because it knew it wasn't greater or less than anyone."
Meanwhile, Campbell is still teaching during the shutdown -- just, a little differently.
"Teachers are now interacting with students and colleagues through online platforms and video conferencing," she said.
"I miss teaching in the traditional sense -- absolutely.
"While I love wearing my pajamas to work every day, I miss the face-to-face conversations with my students. And while my daughter loves popping into my video calls with students, juggling the responsibilities of teaching and parenting is quite the fun challenge."
Campbell encourages anyone with stellar math jokes or puzzles to send them her way (you can find her posts in the Westfield, NJ Facebook group).
"I hope the math joke and puzzle bring a smile or chuckle to people in this time of uncertainty," she said, "while also serving as a fun learning tool for people of all ages."
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