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“Giving students the materials they need to be successful”

Hidden deep within the Outlook section of the Houston Chronicle was a short piece on how teachers, in many schools, do not have access to the tools they need to successfully teach our youth the essential skills necessary to learn the content in areas such as science and mathematics. I was most impressed that that this was not the sheer focus of the article but rather a lead in to a solution to the problem. The author continues and begins to introduce DonorsChoose.org (a site I am most familiar with) as a means to fund projects in schools that might otherwise go unfunded or funded simply through the teacher, himself, reaching into a personal account to purchase the resources needed to be more effective in his or her classroom. I could not begin to calculate the amount of my own money I spent as a public school teacher in efforts to gather the most effective materials to successfully teach my students. Somewhere along the way, I was introduced to this very site the author writes about and since then, I have shared it with my friends in education, parents, and students returning to obtain their Masters Degree to become even better teachers. The concept is quite simple, teachers prepare a proposal for a project which is posted on the the site and anyone can donate to that specific project by funding it in part or full. I have seen our own students at HBU gain some amazing materials  through this site which will enable them to take the ideas and skills learned in class and implement them immediately in their own classrooms. In fact, just last week my neighbor had a project funded and is filled with excitement on implementing it in her 3rd grade classroom. She said she felt so lucky to have had her project selected. Although, I did agree, I must admit her students are the lucky ones. Not only do they have an incredible teacher filled with a wealth of knowledge about teaching math and science, but also a teacher who finds a way to overcome obstacles to be sure that her students get the very best instruction available and that sometimes means seeking out solutions to the challenges faced before her. Kuddos to you Kim for making this happen for your students and, most importantly, thanks to Charles Best and the Houston Chronicle for running this piece so other teachers can become aware of a way to gain tools needed for STEM instruction when funding is an obstacle. I only wish that the article was moved closer to the front so more people could have read it  🙂


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