3 Things Teachers Need to Know About Betsy DeVos

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Okay teachers, it's time for some REAL TALK. "Controversial" is a pretty familiar word these days, especially when referring to Mr. Trump's Presidency. Betsy DeVos is possibly our next Secretary of Education, and as educators, we need to understand that her lack of knowledge regarding basic education competencies will drastically impact every area of our classrooms. Here are 3 things you need to know about Betsy DeVos.

1.) She is an avid proponent of school choice. 

What's school choice? Allowing children that attend "failing schools" to choose a new school to attend. It doesn't sound so bad, and quite honestly, it sounds pretty great. When school choice is actually being played out, it's a whole different story. When you move children from school to school, it never addresses the actual concerns that deemed their original school "failing" in the first place. School choice, in essence, is a bandaid. Additionally, not every school that a family could choose to send their child to is being held to the same special education standards. Many children with IEPs are left in the shadows because the other school options are not "equipped" to service them. School choice leaves children with special needs (arguably our most vulnerable students) out to dry. Check out a fabulous and informative post regarding school choice here, by The Designer Teacher. 


6 Unique Ways to Rock Donors Choose

Friday, January 6, 2017

By now you've prooooobably heard of Donors Choose. It is an incredible crowd-funding website that hosts projects posted by public schools teachers/service providers. Anyone can visit the website and make a donation to a specific project so the classroom can get their requested materials funded. Umm, amazing!

Donors Choose has completely transformed the way that I fill my classroom, and ultimately, the way I teach. My first year of teaching I was in an extremely underfunded school on the southside of Chicago. I taught middle schoolers with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. I had ten desks and ten pencils, several text books from the 1980s, and a whiteboard. That was literally it. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, and was told by my administration that I needed to use the materials I had, and none would be purchased. WHAT?! By the end of the year, it was filled with materials from places like Lakeshore Learning - I'm talking math manipulatives, reading series, brightly colored supplies for each child, sensory tools, snack foods, flexible seating options... I really have no idea what I would have done without the generosity of others. Teaching is hard enough when you have what you need, no less when you are buying everything from paper reams to Kleenex boxes with every paycheck.

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