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River View Elementary School teacher reaches students via YouTube show

    What started as a joke in Michael Huska’s third-grade class at River View Elementary School turned into a weekly YouTube show to reach students remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Huska created “The Mr. Huska” online show about a week after school buildings were closed in March, he said.

Huska likes to have fun in his classroom and often breaks into silly voices during lessons, he said.

Huska and his students often joked that Huska should have his own television show, he said.

The 10-year teaching veteran wanted to stay away from online conference call software like Zoom and has a passion for broadcasting, he said.

The weekly show features special guests, jokes and, of course, learning.

His guests include fellow teachers, many of whom read a story or conduct a lesson on a specific subject such as science.

“Kids are learning but they don’t realize they are learning,” Huska said. “They are just watching this silly show (their) teacher’s making.”

His recent guest was a former student who is graduating this year from Plainfield High School-Central Campus.

They talked about what high school is like, what classes are like and how it feels to graduate, Huska said.

Jane Ukleja, whose son is in Huska’s class, said Huska is going beyond the classroom to stay connected with his students.

“Our entire family looks forward to watching the videos, it’s not just for my 9-year-old son,” Ukleja said.

River View Principal Tracey Markowski praised Huska’s initiative in creating the show.

“This show allowed Mr. Huska to continue to establish the meaningful interactions and bonds that all teachers have with their students during remote learning,” she said.