Students surprise teacher they miss with a parade down his street

Nik Giant's kindergarten class surprised him with a parade. (Nik Giant photo)

NEW PALESTINE, Ind. (WTHR) - When Nik Giant became a teacher, he never imagined video lessons would become the only way he could reach his students.

“Teachers, we teach because we love to be around the children and we’re not getting to do that right now,” said Giant.

The New Palestine Elementary School kindergarten teacher hasn’t seen his class in four weeks now, because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Giant, like other teachers across Indiana, won’t get a chance to now, with Governor Eric Holcomb announcing a return to school won’t happen the rest of the school year.

“It stinks. We’ll all get through it and move on, but it’s these little memories we won’t have,” Giant said.

He and his students will have one memory from time, the memory of the kids’ parents bringing them to Giant’s house, for a parade down the street, all from the safety of their cars.

“They had signs for me, saying how much they missed me and it was just an amazing surprise to get to talk to them, get to see them,” Giant said.

The hardest part was staying apart, while sharing the moment at a distance.

“I wanted to rush to the cars and give them hugs, but I had to stay a few feet away, obviously, but it was amazing,” Giant added.

He said it won’t be last time he sees his kindergarteners, but it will be the last time for awhile.

“I just keep telling them that I miss them and we’ll be together soon. As soon as we can be together, we’ll get back together and we’ll have some good times,” said Giant.

That’s what he’s looking forward to and hopes the kids are, too. After all, that’s why Giant loves teaching kindergarteners so much, for the chance to make a lasting impression.

“They are very special amazing little people and they’ve got such big personalities,” he said. “You are their first experience with school. I just love that, that memory that they have of, you always remember your kindergarten teacher."

For these kids, they’ll likely always carry this memory, too, the year they couldn’t be with their teacher, but showed him how much they wished they could.