Spring Branch ISD elementary teacher holds weekly 'carport classroom'

SPRING BRANCH (KTRK) -- In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are saluting a Spring Branch ISD elementary teacher who found a creative way to help students stay connected.

Krista Dina is hosting a weekly "carport classroom" for third graders from Valley Oak Elementary who live in her neighborhood.

"After three of four weeks of the remote learning, it was definitely starting to take a toll on moms," said Dina, who was the district's Campus Teacher of the Year. "I thought, what if I could set up something where they're all apart, but they're still able to come together and have something that kind of looks like school?"

She started the carport classroom to help students feel more engaged.

"I do the lessons with them that the district has provided, but we do them together," said Dina. "We did five math lessons and two social studies lessons on our first day and they just loved it."

Social distancing is practiced, with the students sitting six feet apart. Dina hopes the carport classroom will help things feel a little more normal for students, even though it's a lot different from school.

"Zoom classrooms have been great, but we miss community," said Dina. "We miss the camaraderie of just being around others and talking and sharing ideas."

"I love that Ms. Dina can be my teacher and I get to be with all of my friends," said third grader Ella Spinn.

"It actually almost feels like regular school," said third grader Claire Fuqua.

Dina intends to keep hosting carport classrooms for the rest of the school year.

"We have three more weeks of school, so we'll continue doing this, other than the last week, when we're going to have our own version of a class party," she said. "I'm hoping it will be something fun and exciting they remember when they look back on this time."
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