Eda Uzunlar

In Jasmine Williams' family, graduating from the University of Michigan is a rite of passage. Her parents met on the campus, and her older sister graduated from the school a few years ago. She remembers sitting bundled up in the family section for that graduation. "It was overwhelming to feel so many people that proud," she says, "I remember sitting there watching her, and that was probably the first time I was like, 'OK, yeah, I like this. I can't wait to do this.'

It's been a year since teachers were handed an unprecedented request: Educate students in entirely new ways, amid the backdrop of a global pandemic. In this comic series, we'll illustrate one educator's story each week from now until the end of the school year.

Episode 6

Librarian Emily Curtis and bus driver Edwin Steer of Georgetown, Texas, discuss creating places of "peace and security" by delivering books to students who can't be in school.

As students walked into Jahdai Jeffords' classroom for the first time, he greeted them with an assignment: "Say something!"

Jeffords, who teaches Spanish and Latin American studies at Carver High School in Winston-Salem, N.C., had been teaching remotely since March 2020. When school opened back up almost a year later on February 15th, he had never met, or in some cases, even seen many of the students he had been teaching.

To get over any first-day jitters, he rigged up a game: Don't introduce yourself by name.