Suburban Park Elementary’s P.E. teacher keeps students ‘moving through’ coronavirus closure — virtually


Photo courtesy of Norfolk Public City Schools.

NORFOLK, Va, (WAVY) — Suburban Park Elementary’ physical education teacher William Lloyd, 65, wanted to do something to keep his students moving as going virtual became a reality for students.

Lloyd reached out to his principal to explore ideas and received her blessing to give virtual P.E. a shot during this extended school closure.

“Do what you’ve always done best: serve the children,” Brenda Shepherd told Lloyd. She has been his principal for nine years.

Lloyd did not have internet access, nor did he have video editing skills, but that all became irrelevant as he designed his plan of action, the Norfolk school division said.

He was issued a laptop with a camera and used the help of colleagues to get in on their Zoom and Google Classroom sessions. Colleagues even took the time to help Lloyd gain editing skills.

“I defied the cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” said Lloyd.

You can find Lloyd with his school-loaned laptop, personal flip phone, power cord, and a
bag lunch as heads to the school he has called home for 41 of his 42 years in teaching, every weekday morning.

When he arrives he sets up his online classroom in the back of his van and transforms the school’s parking lot into his gymnasium.

“Their year was cut short and I think they should know we do care about them and hope they’re well. We want them to continue to grow, be healthy, and learn,” said Lloyd.

“He has really embraced this uncharted journey and has taken, with his big heart, the educational realm to a different venue,” said Shepherd. “The content has not changed. His zeal has not changed, nor his excitement, or his dedication. It’s just doing everything on a different platform.”

Cannon says the morale of the staff, along with Lloyd thinking outside the box to host virtual classes shows, educators are constantly giving 100 percent. 

Lloyd says his main objective each day is to get the kids moving around and laughing.

“If they laugh at me, that is okay, too.”

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