Have you heard the news? Teach For America is launching a new website. Hooray! Next month, when you visit TeachForAmerica.org, you’ll see a brand-new community for teachers and education advocates. TeacherPop will be joining the fun soon, but for now, we are offering a chance for our loyal readers and their students to be featured on TFA’s new site.
What’s a bug got to do with it? Everything when it comes to developing curious young minds on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Lou Lahanna, technology coordinator at the Island School, uses tech solutions to teach social and environmental justice issues.
One of Lahanna’s enterprising sixth graders, Britney, created a documentary about the many benefits of eating bugs—yes, bugs—to curb world hunger and lessen the demand for other resource-heavy protein sources. Britney isn’t all talk; in the documentary, she gladly makes a snack of crickets, beetles, and other creepy crawlies to argue her excellent case.
First-year, Teach For America instructor Brian Townsend teaches more than 70 students at LEARN 7 Elementary School in a severely underserved section of Chicago. His students are creative and extremely motivated to learn, but lack access to the breadth of resources available in other districts to fully develop their potential.
Markel gets down on one knee and holds up a fake ring. “Ms. Stark, you are a princess!” he tells me. Annoyed that he stopped reading his book, I inform him that it is inappropriate for a nine year old to propose to his teacher. This probably explains why my end-of-day goodbye to him is matched with an inordinately angry, “goodbye, old lady.” My co-teacher glances up, confused, since I’m the youngest staff member in the building. I’m too exhausted to explain the situation. “Unrequited love,” I say, shrugging it off.
These winter months can be especially challenging for teachers. Suddenly, weekends are not nearly enough to rejuvenate us, and the next break is too far out of reach. It’s the perfect time to reconnect with our purpose, and what is truly important: our students.
Our kids can easily get lost among the noise of professional development, evaluations, lesson plan deadlines, or grad school classes. Spend some time listening to the voices of these students, who remind us why teaching matters.
TeacherPop has never been known to turn down an opportunity to celebrate teaching, which is why we’re thrilled to spread the word about Love Teaching Week! In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, teachers across the country have been taking to social media this week to talk about why they #LoveTeaching. The campaign aims to “shine a light on all the good teaching has to offer,” and squash all those false rumors that teaching isn’t the awesome, meaningful career that we all know it to be.
In honor of Rosa Parks Day, TeacherPop is visiting the amazing first graders at Boston’s Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, and their short film, Service to Others, a submission to the 2015 White House Student Film Festival.
At Orchard Gardens, 90% of our students come from low-income families, and 100% of them are bursting with potential. Our students take classes in visual arts, theater, music, and dance. These artistic endeavors combined with academic standards provide our students with a means for expressing learning that often surpasses paper-and-pencil methods.
As I wind up my first semester of teaching in rural Arkansas, I finally have the chance to step back and examine my life for the past five months. Since relocating from the northeast (where I was born, raised, and attended college), settling in down south has been a challenge, but one for which I am very grateful. This semester has been full of firsts for me, and I have learned from each one.