Wanna adopt a school?

ms Toner

The Phillip H. Sheriden Elementary School is in a really poor area, right near the largest open-air drug market on the East Coast. This kindergarten class caught my eye because the teacher isn’t asking for any hi-tech toys or iPads, just the basics: A carpet for kids to sit on. Seat organizers. A couple of easels. Things they should already have!

I don’t have enough money to make a big difference, but it sure would be nice if we all chipped in. Just sayin’!

A typical day, as I know it, involves breakfast, circle time, a writing lesson, letter(s) activity, lunch, math and then centers. I may have just started, but I want my students to be confident, knowledgeable, expressive and eager to advance to first grade.

I was just hired at my school as a kindergarten teacher. My new class has been thrown together, with multiple substitutes and an unreliable environment. These children have gone through more than they should have and deserve more. I hope to be the one that brings them stability, encourages them, identifies with them and can help them progress to the next level.

The classroom I am in, as are my students, is sparse and uninviting. It lacks stimulation and minimal resources. I came in to a room where Kindergarteners were sitting at desks! Blasphemy! Kindergarteners should be sitting at tables where socializing and teamwork is essential. They need a place to sit during circle time that provides then a designated spot, but allows them to feel connected to the group. They need more than one white-board that allows them to reference throughout the day and week.

Children need a variety of materials that promote learning. The carpet will provide each student with self-restraint as well as group participation. The easel will allow them to volunteer and reinforce what they are learning throughout the week. The easel moves, which encourages them to “use the room” because it moves and can be brought over to their tables. Finally, the chair organizers provides them their own space, a spot that is their own. They can save work and bring items from home.

These resources are just the beginning to promoting my students academic achievements. Children are sponges and these resources will allow them to absorb more. Providing an environment that stimulates, as well as comforting, encourages progress and growth. I have taught for 7 years and it starts with the environment. My experience has taught me that organization, resources and comfort stimulates academic achievement. My class will be the best, but I need help achieving it!