Monday, June 3, 2013

A Community-Sized Thank You

Lately it seems that teachers need their own pair of boxing gloves to spar with the onslaught of challenges, from funding and staffing cuts, to a disheartening disregard for the influences in a child’s life outside of school.

It’s not so much the boxing gloves teachers need as much as someone in their corner, with a supportive understanding of the demands facing us—economic, academic, and emotional. Many assert that priorities have shifted in education, blaming politics, teachers themselves and the controversial madness of standardized testing. Whatever your take, your political view, or opinion of our country’s global educational reputation, if you know a teacher personally, your "Mickey” moment is here (think Rocky's coach, not Minnie's man). Supporting teachers and schools is something everyone can do, with time, resources—or even a hug.

There are a lot of optimistic, some would even say “hope-timistic”, teachers in the ranks that continue to push the limits for their kids. They reach out, pursuing additional logistical steps to get those visitors in their classrooms, grants for resources and experiences, and donations for classroom supplies to supplement what comes out of their own pockets. Consider it an underestimated kind of advocacy for the students, but it makes our day to know that so many are willing to invest their time, money and abilities to make learning come to life.

As I reflected on my year, I realized just how many people had their “hands” on (virtual or real) the education of my students. I have a feeling I’m missing some folks, and I’m truly sorry if have. I could write a book about the many other individuals who have been coaches in my corner, who sent me into the proverbial ring with confidence and inspiration. I hope I’ve thanked you already, more than once.

Thank you to the following people and businesses who have impacted our school and my students in just the past few months. Your support and trust in our abilities mean the world to us!

Chatham Education Foundation—for your donations for enrichment activities in art, math, cooking, and global learning.

Chatham Parks and Recreation Department—for your grant funding of our Pre-K special needs playground equipment.

Creative Connections and Miguel Barreto—for your facilitation of two art exchanges (China and Guatemala) this year and an exciting videoconference with our peers in Guatemala. 

Videoconferencing with Guatemala

Vieda Mazur—a “mom” to lots of local teachers who so generously donates her PTA Thrift Store hours to many of us, and gives great hugs to boot.
'Cause she just IS that awesome!

Tory Fraser and her resilient New York classroom—for enriching our curriculum with even more relevant reasons to write, cook, think of others, and be grateful for what we have.  
Valentines we received from Tory and her class!
Betty (and Len) Fisher—for bringing WWII and history to life for all of us.

Global Read Aloud participants—to the classes in Canada, Texas, and Virginia who skyped with us to share your thoughts about The One and Only Ivan and opened our eyes to the importance of communication.  

Siler City Food Lion—for your donations to our cooking club, always given with a smile. Next time we’ll make plenty of extras. :)

Siler City Rotary Club—for your volunteers in our classrooms and continual push for increased literacy.

Govinda Prasad Panthy and the SAV School, Nepal—for broadening our world through Skype, and helping spur an incredible service learning project for my third graders.
SAV School students with cards they made for my students

 Nepal Majestico and Volunteer Society Nepal—for your many valuable insights into the Nepali education system, and providing me with unparalleled experiences to share with my students.
Boys I worked with in Boudha, Nepal.
Can't wait to see what next year will bring! Thank you, everyone!

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