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KRON4 Heroes: Teacher uses costumes to add fun to distance learning

KRON4 Heroes

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) — While some employees working from home start their mornings deciding whether their Zoom video conference is worth wearing pants for, Heather Feeney is busy picking elaborate costumes out from her closet.

Feeney is an art, history, and English teacher for middle and high school students at Tilden Preparatory School in Walnut Creek. Starting in late February, schools across the San Francisco Bay Area closed their classrooms due to the coronavirus and students shifted to distance learning. Feeney said she felt comfortable with distance teaching, so she decided to have a little fun and give her students a reason to laugh.

“I thought, I’m not going to fall into this sad, no pants, work from homing that so many people do,” Feeney said. “I’m going to make this fun.”

Heather Feeney

Now that she’s 44 days into distance teaching, Feeney has donned 44 different costumes. When students log on for their daily lesson and see their teacher, “They always crack up. Then I laugh because they are laughing. It’s just a nice way to start the class,” Feeney said.

Feeney’s friend Jessica Potter nominated Feeney to be a KRON4 Hero. Potter wrote to KRON4, “Since the beginning of the Shelter In Place she has dressed in a different costume for her online teaching EVERY SINGLE DAY! Her costumes are amazing and elaborate. Even though she has two young children of her own, she is dedicated to making her online teaching an engaging daily experience for her students. I’m amazed and inspired by her dedication.”

Heather Feeney

Feeney happened to already own dozens of unique costumes because she is a dancer and her husband is an actor.

“I’ve been collecting (costumes) for 20 years. I just like costumes,” she said.

Heather Feeney
Heather Feeney

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