LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – When you think of first responders, you probably think of police, paramedics, or firefighters, but what about a first-grader?
They’re not usually who would come to mind, but one Alabama class found themselves in that role and reacted as any hero would.
As applause filled the Cedar Hill Elementary School gym on Wednesday, the biggest cheer came from Ms. Tracy Hodges. Her first graders were honored by local first responders for their bravery during a classroom crisis last month.
It’s more than just pride for Ms. Hodges, it’s gratitude. She lost consciousness during class one day in January and students jumped into action.
“My vision got really blurry. My students sitting at the table, I couldn’t even make out the children at the table, asked me what was going on,” Hodges said.
“She started shaking in her chair, she said ‘go get help,'” student Emery Johnson said.
Some of Ms. Hodges’ students ran to a fellow teacher’s class, others went to get the school nurse.
Ms. Hodges learned at the hospital that she had experienced a seizure caused by COVID-19 complications. She had no idea she was positive at the time.
After rest and quarantine, Hodges has returned to teaching. Life was normal until Wednesday’s assembly.
“When I saw the one teary-eyed [student] today, it brought back that this was real. This was something that no 6 and 7 year old should go through, but they had to and they did the right thing,” Ms. Hodges said.
Ms. Hodges has been teaching for 28 years. She has enjoyed every class, but this one will hold a special place in her heart.
“I just thank God every day for them,” Ms. Hodges said.
Her students say they are so thrilled to have their teacher back and they think it’s pretty cool to officially be known as “Hodges’ Heroes.”