Partner School Stories

Continuing To Make P2 A Top Priority

By Jonathan Everett

As with every other aspect of life, everything we thought we knew about teaching was cracked open with the unexpected shift that occurred this past March. While some of us, who were a little more comfortable with technology, felt slightly better; in the end, we were all building the plane as we were flying it, just doing whatever we could to maintain contact and try to continue to teach.

After a very successful start to my school’s inaugural P2 year, I was worried that momentum would come to a crashing halt. The social-emotional strain that was being placed on all of us, specifically young children, made continuing P2 a top priority. So, immediately, I continued to begin every single day with a morning meeting that included P2. Students responded to the prompts, watched videos communally, and shared out their thoughts. This served two main purposes:

  1. It anchored us to school. The routine of starting our day with P2 had been in place since early September, so this was a way to stay tethered to a sense of normalcy. My students latched onto this and my Meet participation was consistently at 90% or above.
  2. It allowed me to find direct and indirect ways to see how they were coping with the remarkably unique situation we all found ourselves in. Virtual P2 became a place where I found as many ways as possible to connect the trait to what was going on in the world. This gave me a place to not only talk through my own feelings but directly hear and see their own struggles through words, affirmations, and nodding heads. 

As the P2 coordinator for our school, I touched base with our teachers and completed an end of the year survey that showed me all of the amazingly cool ways P2 continued in their classrooms. 

Certain grade levels did their instruction like I did, synchronously (buzz word alert…and P2 was the first place I heard it!), whereas others adapted and evolved. Some made their own slides and tailored it to the current situation while others created an interactive slide set where their students could type in responses that could be seen by their peers. 

I was blown away with the creative ways people found to continue P2, a precursor to the start of school this year. Building on all of this, I combined the aforementioned ideas as well as the new P2 for Families information into a presentation for my staff to kick off this year. Both Jeff and Frank were truly awesome about meeting with me, providing feedback, encouraging everything we were doing, and always being available to help. 

Looking back over the last year, it’s clear that P2 brought about an immediate impact. I heard countless stories from teachers about their student’s efforts to show #PositivityInAction in the school, at home, and in their community. Just a few examples out of many:


  • Our yearly can food drive shattered a previous record by over 2000 items
  • Our PTA used the end of the year fifth-grade gift money as a donation to a local food cupboard
  • Multiple kids highlighted things they did to help their neighbors when we were in quarantine

In an effort to help kick things off for this year, I recorded two short videos to share with my colleagues. The first was a reminder for them of how to access P2 for Families and the second was an explanation of how to access it to send home to the parents. The excitement from my staff has been palpable and I hear/see their enthusiasm on a daily basis. 

This year brings about challenges that we’ve never seen before in all facets of life, especially education. In my opinion, P2 is one of those rare programs that not only became MORE important once we went virtual but also worked as a bridge to provide the connective tissue of familiarity along with an access point to try and help kids and adults alike process their emotions. 

Jonathan Everett

Jonathan Everett is a 5th grade teacher at Holly Ridge Elementary School in Holly Springs, NC.  While he has been an educator for 14 years, this is his second year as P2 coordinator.