April 29, 2014

Teachers Change Lives

I've got several friends who are teachers and I am incredibly proud of them.  Teachers change lives.  It's true.  I bet each one of you out there has fond memories of at least one teacher who has impacted your life in a positive way. 



I was fortunate enough to have a few teachers who've made lasting memories for me.  One teacher that stands out is my middle school science teacher, Mrs. Rosa.  She had a certain way to speaking to us; she talked to us not as children, but as peers.  I'd never experienced that before.  She was quirky and full of energy.  She had a pet peeve for people who started a sentence with "And" or "But" so it was an actual rule in class that you'd lose points if you did those things on any graded report.

Aside from Mrs. Rosa wanting to impart proper grammar in our lives, she tried her hardest to make science fun.  There were no assignments of definitions, no readings of long chapters that you'd barely remember.  No, Mrs. Rosa brought science to life.  We got to create 'science art', as she called it.  Our assignments were innovative things like drawing the anatomy of a nucleus, making mini ecosystems and discovering the beauty of life. 

In a roundabout way, she taught us responsibility.  We had a class pet, a hamster named Miss Gussy.  We were responsible for making sure that hamster lived in style!  Every need was attended to.  We also got to assist in the hatching of baby chicks.  We each had an egg that we had to make sure was properly taken care of up until the moment of birth.  The sight of a little baby chick popping out of an egg is not one I will soon forget.  Mrs. Rosa paid for those chicks out of her own pocket so we could have something of our own to take care of, to be responsible for.  Being a child at that time, I didn't grasp the significance of an act like that.  Recalling the memories as an adult makes me realize how much she really did for us, so many things above and beyond the requirements of a teacher. 

I'd thank her if I saw her today.  People don't realize that a teacher's job doesn't end when the kids go home.  There's lessons to plan, papers to grade, projects to come up with....and most likely a lot more that I don't even know about. 

I think it's important to give back to those who helped you along the way.  Adopt-A-Classroom is a nonprofit organization that helps connect donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for students.  Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered to raise awareness about teachers, and all that they do in the lives of their students.  You can go to the Teachers Change Lives website and donate to a teacher or even adopt a classroom.  You can donate to the teacher highlighted in the video below or even to a teacher in your local community! 

Take a teacher like Chris Emdin for example.  Chris is a science teacher in the Bronx who incorporates the hip hop culture into his classroom material which helps students see science in a different way.  By teaching science, Chris gives his students new possibilities for life, and something to look forward to. #TeachersChangeLives


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.