I truly believe that teachers change lives. While my kids have had a lot of great teachers over the years, we have had 2 teachers that have gone above and beyond. I am convinced that these teachers have changed the way my kids view school and life.
Both of my older girls had the privilege of having Mrs. Grate for 5th grade. When my oldest daughter started 5th grade, she had only been in the US for 2 months and her English was practically non-existent. Mrs. Grate was sooo patient and worked tirelessly to make sure that Amina understood what was going on in her class. She even modified assignments for her. I am convinced that Amina’s love of reading and school began during her time in Mrs. Grate’s class.
The following year, Khrystyna had Mrs. Grate. She had been in the US a little over a year and while her grasp of English was better, there was still so much she didn’t understand and many gaps in her education. Mrs. Grate again worked tirelessly to help Khrystyna understand what was going on and worked with me as a parent to make sure that Khrystyna was doing as much work as she possibly could without getting completely overwhelmed or frustrated. Both of the girls learned so much during their time in her classroom.
This year, my youngest daughter got an extraordinary teacher. Mrs. Samuels has worked to find creative solutions to my daughter’s struggles. Shayna is an amazing artist, has impeccable handwriting, and has a sweet and tender heart, but she struggles academically. Although we would practice spelling words daily throughout the week, it wasn’t unusual for her to only get 1 out of 8 correct. This was completely discouraging to Shayna who worked really hard at learning them. Earlier this year, Mrs. Samuels suggested we try a new method of grading Shayna’s spelling tests. Instead of grading by correct word, she now grades by correct letter. Imagine Shayna’s delight the first week when she had 34 stars on her spelling test. She literally ran in the door from school and ran to the office to show me her spelling test. She was over-the-moon happy. A few weeks later, her teacher suggested we try a new way of learning memory verses. We now write each word of the verse on a 3×5 card and she puts the cards in order and reads the verse. It has dramatically increased her confidence.
I love that Mrs. Samuels is constantly looking for innovative ways to help my daughter learn and to help her become more confident. It’s amazing because I see her doing this with all the kids in her classroom. She invests so much of her time and her personal resources to make sure that the kids in her classroom are learning everything they possibly can!
Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered together to raise awareness about teachers and all that they do in the lives of their students. If you’re not familiar with Adopt-A-Classroom, it is a nonprofit that helps to connect donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for students. There are so many teachers who spend money out of their own pocket year after year…especially in underfunded areas.
There are so many great teachers out there. Look at what Brian Copes is doing!
Check out these other great teachers as well!
You can make a difference in a classroom by donating to classrooms in need.
Register Your Classroom: Go to the Teachers Change Lives website and click on the red box that says “Register Your Classroom,” which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website.
Donate to a Teacher: Go to the Teachers Change Lives website and click on the teal “Donate to a teacher box” which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website. Follow the corresponding steps from there.
I’d love to hear about the teacher that has changed your life or the life of your child. Leave me a comment!