WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

Virtual ‘Dean of Fun’ keeping things positive, engaging while teaching kindergarteners online

WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On this first day of school in Knox County, we want to give a shout out to all teachers — you are all heroes. But there’s always that one who seems to go the extra mile, with energy to spare.

We’ve had the pleasure of visiting kindergarten teacher Mac Comer at his classroom at Christenberry Elementary School over the past year or so. He’s known as the “Dean of Fun.”

This year, we might call him the “Virtual Dean of Fun.” He has the daunting task of teaching 5-year-olds online, which that alone makes him worthy of hero status.

One look at Comer’s staff photo and you know this teacher’s in it to win it.

“I just want kids to wake up and say, ‘Yes, it’s Monday, it’s time to go to school,’ whether or not it’s behind the computer or going to the classroom,” Comer says with a  smile.

So, this Dean of Fun has been busy during the pandemic, putting together colorful care kits for the classroom cut short when COVID-19 hit.

“Last year in March, we literally had our students ripped away from us,” Comer says. “We never got to say goodbye. We never got to give that goodbye hug.”

Comer’s online fundraisers brought boxes of activities to the school, full of books, math lessons and paint sets, and even masks. All were packaged up, put into gift bags and delivered by this caring teacher to the doorsteps of his smiling students. He even delivered disco balls to each family.

“They sent me pictures of them hanging out with the family having a disco party. That’s what I’m all about. I just want to bring the family together, bring everybody together and just have fun,” Comer tells us.

His goal is to stay positive and keep kids engaged in learning.

“I’m very fortunate this year, our kindergarten classrooms, our virtual classrooms, only have 22 kids in them so we are super fortunate,” Comer said.

A daunting task is ahead for all teachers.

“We’ll see how it goes, yeah, we’re going to take it one day at a time and I’m just going to try to make it as exciting as possible and I just think it’s going to be one of the best years yet,” Comer said.

Mac Comer has several online fundraisers to help him get his students more supplies to help keep them active and engaged during the virtual learning process-things like magnetic scribble pads, bilingual books, and other tools for school.

To support his efforts, check out his website at deanoffun.org.


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