Pick: Currents of Electricity and Hope Pick: Pick: Currents of Electricity and Hope

Every day Teach For America corps member Ms. P teaches more than science to juniors and seniors at Sunshine High School in Newbern, Alabama. She strives to bring out the very best in them through STEM activities, readings, and a host of other lessons to advance their sense of self-worth.

“My students are given far less credit than they deserve, and because they have been held to such low standards their whole lives, they have started holding themselves to those standards,” writes Ms. P. “My goal for this year has been to show them how much potential they have. I want them to see how much potential I see in them.” Pick: DC School to Launch Art Program

art supplies paint brushes

“Students at Chavez Prep work hard,” writes 6th grade teacher and TFA alum Mrs. B. She isn’t overstating the case. Mrs. B’s students at Chavez Prep in Washington, D.C., complete four hours of intensive reading and math every day. To complement its rigorous coursework, the school is creating an art program to help foster its students’ creativity. Mrs. B writes: Pick: Lab Equipment for STEM Students

science experiment

Ms. M’s AP biology class in Denver is missing some lab equipment. The students haven’t lost or misplaced it; it doesn’t exist at all. For this high-needs school, expensive lab equipment is a luxury it can’t provide.

With, Ms. M has launched a project to help her students explore scientific processes and deepen their understanding of biological concepts. With funds raised, she will purchase temperature, oxygen, and carbon dioxide sensors.

“Who wants to be stuck in a science class without any labs?” asks Ms. M. “My students surely don’t, and neither do I!” Pick: Outdoor Games for NYC PreK Pick of the Week It’s been a long, cold winter, and some places are still battling snow and freezing temps. Even worse, kids and their teachers have been hunkered down, snug in classrooms, for months: it’s time for outdoor recess!

For today’s pick of the week, we’re highlighting Ms. B’s PreK class at Grant Avenue Elementary School in the Bronx. In preparation for the warm, spring weather, Ms. B is seeking to add to her class collection of outdoor toys and activities, including scarves, balls, ribbons, and sand toys.

Community Moments: Submit Your Best Classroom Photos

kids in tiesHave you heard the news? Teach For America is launching a new website. Hooray! Next month, when you visit, 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.

Send us photos of your classroom in action, engaged in moments of teamwork like these smart kids, and we’ll select our favorites to be featured on the all-new during launch week. Email us your best shots today!

A Cricket A Day: Eating Bugs to End World Hunger

Eating Bugs to End World Hunger 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. Pick: Graphic Novels for 4th Graders in Chicago

stack children's booksFirst-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.

“My school cares deeply about impacting scholars’ academic and social/emotional learning and about giving them the tools and resources they need to be college-bound,” Brian writes. To provide further learning opportunities and expose his students to new forms of writing, including the engaging visuals of graphic novels, Brian is raising funds through to purchase books from the Geronimo Stilton series for his students.

I Am Your Teacher, Not the Bachelorette—or How to Handle Classroom Proposals

Houston 05_11.516Markel 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.