Joining Teach For America meant a lot for me. I wanted to change the lives of children, hopefully in a city I loved, but I also joined for me. As a single parent, I know I have to work extra hard to be the best example for my son, Isaiah. From my training at Institute through the last day of school, I have learned more about Isaiah, my students, and myself.
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.”
“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:
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 DonorsChoose.org, 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!”
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 DonorsChoose.org 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.
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.
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 TeachForAmerica.org during launch week. Email us your best shots today!
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.
“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 DonorsChoose.org to purchase books from the Geronimo Stilton series for his students.