I learned to advocate for my needs as a teacher in terms of resources. My first year of teaching, I received thirty-seven books ($324) to use as mentor texts in writing. My second year of teaching, I received a kidney table ($263) where I could instruct small groups in reading, writing, and math. My third year of teaching, I received an interactive whiteboard ($2,298) so that students could learn to use technology; I also received a grant that helped me purchase $500 worth of books for my classroom library; and I also received a $700 grant that would help pay for a field trip for my class.
Wow. That adds up to $4,085!
So when I moved to St. Louis, I wasn't about to give up on receiving free materials that would help my students succeed in the classroom! Have you heard about DonorsChoose.org? It's a website where public school teachers can post project requests which range from a writing utensil to technology and generous donors donate to these projects! It's where I received my thirty-seven mentor texts, my kidney table, and my interactive whiteboard! Some of my donors were anonymous, some were strangers, and some were family and friends! It doesn't matter if you know them or don't, because all of these donors have hearts of gold!
Well, my fifth year of teaching comes along and I thought I'd try asking again for a generous donation: I asked for twenty-five exercise balls to help students channel their innate need for movement on these ergonomic chairs! Since these balls require balance, students are constantly engaging their core muscles, and helps students focus at the task at hand! (Read more about my request here: http://www.donorschoose.org/mrs.gh) It has only been a couple of weeks, but we have already set up specific rules/norms on how to sit on the balls and when sitting on these balls might be more advantageous to our bodies.
We can't wait to reap the benefits from these wonderful resources in our classroom! And now I'm up to $4,547 in grant money! :)