Science teacher who turned his kitchen into a chemistry lab is going above and beyond for his students

·2 min read

A high school science teacher in Washington, D.C., is cooking up something special for his students every week -- live from his home kitchen, which he converted into a chemistry lab.

Jonte Lee, a chemistry and physics teacher at Calvin Coolidge High School, has been conducting bubbling and fiery science experiments from the heart of his home and streaming them over social media and virtual platforms for his students.

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“The reason why I turned my kitchen into a chemistry lab is for the love of my students,” said Lee.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing schools to close, teachers stepped up. For National Teacher Day, "Good Morning America" is celebrating Lee and teachers from all across the country who are going above and beyond to help their students learn from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Lee said the demonstrations have been great for student participation and engaging with students on a more personal level.

PHOTO: Jonte Lee, a chemistry and physics teacher at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., joined Robin Roberts this morning on ABC's 'Good Morning America' to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week on May 5, 2020. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Jonte Lee, a chemistry and physics teacher at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., joined Robin Roberts this morning on ABC's 'Good Morning America' to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week on May 5, 2020. (ABC News)

"When you have that great relationship with a student, you can push them forward academically. You are allowed to challenge them and those students rise up and meet the challenge," he told ABC News' Robin Roberts.

He went on, “I have gotten 100% participation from my students. They complete the work, they ask questions.They don’t just come with their brain – they come with their hearts, their personalities. And that helps form a great student teacher relationship. If that’s strong, I can push them forward academically."

Lee said he's missed being able to check-in with his students in person.

“With any teacher, if we cannot see our students and we do not know if they are OK ... if they’re having a great day, a not-so great day, did something exciting happen, did something not exciting happen," he said highlighting the challenges of virtual learning. "We do not just educate the brain of the child, we educate the whole child."

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"GMA" surprised Lee with thoughtful messages from four students.

“Hi Mr. Lee! I miss you so much. You’re my favorite teacher because you’re always coming up with new ways to engage students – from group projects, to games, and even snacks – I appreciate all that you do. Thank you,” said one student, Nadine.

Editor's note: This was originally published on May 5, 2020.

Science teacher who turned his kitchen into a chemistry lab is going above and beyond for his students originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com