A photo showing Carl Schneider, a teacher who volunteers to walk students home everyday, is going viral on social media because people see someone going above and beyond his duties to care for the young children.
Tabitha Tudy Jones posted the now-famous photo to Facebook on September 28 and has been inundated with likes, comments, and shares. The heartwarming image shows teacher Carl Schneider volunteering with a group of elementary-aged students in Tennessee.
Jones was passing by on her way home from the post office, when she saw the amazing sight and decided to share on her Facebook page.
“Coming from the Post Office on Whitney & Baskin I saw this teacher walking his students home… (more students lagging behind),” she wrote. “Wooooow! Big UPS to this teacher!”
“I didn’t think this was part of the job description. But it’s so sweet that he goes above & beyond for the children…This made my heart GLAD to witness his compassion toward the children…it takes a village.”
Even though Jones is probably right, and taking students home is not on Carl Schneider’s contract with Whitney Achievement Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee, he has done it for the past three years. Not only that, he is just one of five teachers from the school who volunteer to walk kids home.
In addition to Schneider, Kevin Sullivan, Auriel Rolle-Polk, Allison Thompson, and Valeria Bostick take about 200 kids east and west of the school every day.
According to the Today show, under principal Debra Broughton the initiative has grown in popularity. Moreover, Chris Hill, the director of communications for the Achievement School District, told NBC some of the kids ask for certain teachers.
“One of the things we realized immediately was the safety of our students was priority No. 1, and connecting with the community is right up there with that. The kids love it, and they even request certain teachers, and we’ve been learning that the teachers thoroughly enjoy connecting with the students.”
Carl Schneider also talked to the Today show and said he was happy to see his community highlighted in a positive way. The teacher is from Colorado and has worked in Memphis as part of Teach for America, a non-profit teacher corps that enlists recent college graduates to work in low-income communities, according to their website.
“We recruit remarkable and diverse individuals to become teachers in low-income communities. They commit to teach for two years and are hired by our partner public schools across the country. During these two years they are called corps members.”
The teachers walking their students and the kids enjoy the time together. Also, it is a way for Carl Schneider and the other volunteers to get to know parents in an informal setting.
“I think our students deserve the same love and quality education as students in any other district. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to get to know the students on a more informal basis and talk about their day.”
“I have one student who is on a student behavior plan, and I meet with his dad every day to let him know how his child behaved that day and any solutions we can work toward. The parents are invested and eager to know how their children are doing.”
Carl Schneider says both, teacher volunteers and the students, have come to anticipate the time they will spend together during their walks. The children are always sharing what happened during their day and telling funny stories. The viral photos certainly show the children having a good time.
[Image via Whitney Achievement Elementary School/Facebook]