Quirky teacher's lip-synch YouTube video goes viral
Staff at a country Victorian school are becoming unexpected YouTube stars as their lip synched video, made to cheer up students, heads to 10,000 views.
Teachers and support staff at Wangaratta's Galen Catholic College made the video over two days while they were setting up remote learning for next term.
It went live on Saturday and principal Bernard Neal said it is the talk of the town.
It's one of many schools turning to YouTube, Facebook and other platforms to connect and lift spirits as students and teachers face uncertain times.
"It really goes back to the week beforehand when news came out that schools were probably going to be looking at online learning," Mr Neal said.
"We had our parent teacher interviews cancelled and then we had 24 hours notice that schools would close on the Monday."
He said it was stressful, intense and an inspirational effort by teachers to get everything together for remote learning should it be required in second term.
Mr Neal said drama teacher Julie Nolan came to him on Thursday with the idea for the video.
"Julie said she was lying in bed on Wednesday night and the idea was running through her head," he said.
She enlisted teachers MacKensie Hansen, Lauren Sykes and Felicity Davis to help.
"Julie and three younger teachers thought it would be a bit of fun to break the tension for teachers and give a message of hope for the students," he said.
The video shows teachers lip synching to everything from Hello, Remember the Days of the Old School Yard, Darkness My Old Friend, All By Myself, Ring, Ring, I Want to Break Free and Don't Stand So Close to Me to Let's Get Physical.
"We are pretty staggered by the response. Most important to us is that the feedback from parents and kids has been phenomenal," he said.
Mr Neal was stopped in the street over the weekend by people thanking the school for the gesture.
"It has hit the mark as far as we are concerned and sending the message that life can be fun in the times of restrictions," he said.
There are just over 1100 students at the school and as of Tuesday it has received 9500 views.
Other schools are trying to ensure that even though their students are physically isolated they are socially connected.
At Saltwater P-9 College, in Point Cook, a reading time is being posted on the school's Facebook page and includes principal Jackie Daniali reading her favourite book, The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.
Teacher Michael Nicolaides has come up with the reading list after canvassing students for requests.
Sandringham East Primary School has a paper mache challenge where students are encouraged to create something at home and share it with the school community.
Coburn Primary School has launched a rainbow scavenger hunt which encourages students to find things like fruits, vegetables and flowers in various colours.
Lauriston junior school physical education teacher Matt Sires has posted an A to Z exercise class to keep locked up students on the move.