It started off with games and PE at 9am – and ended up with ghost walks and singing Bonnie Tyler at 3am!
This is the heart-warming timeline of two caring teachers who ran a 24-hour live teach-a-thon to raise money to buy computers for the children at Anglesey Primary School in Lozells to use for online homeschooling.
Shaun Keeling and Sam Jordan came up with the idea after witnessing firsthand the difficult situations some of the pupils were living in.
After receiving lots of support from the community, some of whom watched the teachers all night long, they have raised more than £5,400 – enough to buy 59 tablets for pupils to use in school and on loan at home.
“We were exhausted but it was absolutely worth it to raise all that money,” said Mr Keeling, who lives in Dudley.
“Having hand-delivered work packs to children during lockdown, for the first time we saw some of the places where the children live. It really brought it home the kind of situations some families were in, families with children sharing one small flat with one or no devices and no internet. We knew we had to do something.”
The teach-a-thon timeline
The teach-a-thon was streamed live on YouTube from 9am on a Monday morning straight through until 9am on Tuesday.
9am: The teach-a-thon begins with fun and games
Mr Keeling said: “We started the teach-a-thon at 9am with Mr Doddridge, the headteacher, coming in to officially start the clock then we began with a description game followed by PE.”
10am to 8pm: Live lessons and chat with the pupils
The teachers led live lessons for pupils throughout the day, teaching everything from maths and English to geography and science.
They kept the comments button switched on so that the children could chat with them throughout.
He added: “We taught a lot around the digestive system, geography, story writing, some mental maths and some drama games that probably had a little bit to be desired – they went a bit awry which was quite fun!”
For more advice on helping your child with their learning, head to the Maths-Whizz website.
9pm: Goodnight session for the kids – but not Mr Keeling or Mr Jordan!
There was a wind-down session with some mindfulness exercises and ‘goodnight stories’ then the teachers turned off the chat so the children could sleep.
“As we proceeded throughout the day, it felt a lot longer than we expected it to be!” he said.
Throughout the night, the teachers carried on filming live lessons that could be used for pupils to watch in the following days.
11pm: Things start to get a bit spooky at school in the dark!
“At around 11pm, we were doing ‘suspense’ and Mr Jordan went on a ghost walk and his imagination got a little bit of the best of him! Although it didn’t help that there was a knock on the window at around that time.
“It turned out it was just another member of staff coming to bring us some oranges to keep us going!”
3am: Time for a bit of Karaoke!
“Into the early hours, we broke into karaoke at one point with us singing Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart at around 3am.”
You can watch a video of this at the top of the page!
4am: Money still coming in – and people still watching
“We had little clips throughout showing how much we’d raised. I want to say a big thank you to the 14 people who silently watched us through eight hours of the night!”
5.45am: Doing art – and getting very tired!
“As it got closer to the milestones, like 6am and we were both getting exhausted, the fact that we were about to finish really speared us on.”
9am: We made it to the end!
“And then we made it to the very end, the headteacher came back and other members of staff came to congratulate us. There were balloons, party streamers and we did a countdown to the end.”
After the event
Mr Keeling said: “At the moment, we have raised more than £5,600 – that’s 50 devices for the children in our local area.
“We’re going to leave the donation page up for a little while longer, just in case anybody else wants to donate. And they can do that either by going to the Just Giving Page or by looking at our Twitter feed which is @AngelseyP.
“All we did was stand and talk for 24 hours. The real heroes are the children and the community who donated and helped us with all their comments, supporting us all the way.”
Headteacher Mr Doddridge added: “What an incredible achievement by these two teachers. I’m just so, so proud and want to say thank you on behalf of all the staff, children and parents.
“This is improving lives and it’s been a lot of fun.”