It's nearly my birthday (I'm turning 24!) and I don't know how many of you were inclined to celebrate it in any way. But if you were, or if me saying something about it now makes you want to, I would like to take the liberty of requesting something special.
My kids desperately, desperately need a projector. My handwriting is terrible, and a projector would allow me to not write on the board, but either do powerpoint or type up preprepared transparencies. It would also allow me to use the DVDs that are meant to go hand-in-hand with the Read180 textbooks as a pre-reading for each unit's reading passages. There's lots and lots of research to back up the benefits of building background knowledge through film clips before even starting on a reading passage - how it increases comprehension and encourages fluency by building student confidence (not to mention student interest). It would also let me stretch the 20 total Read180 books we have (for 32 students!) a little farther by letting me project the book onto the whiteboard, so the students could see what I'm looking at. Yay, technology!
The issue that I have is that my school's technology budget is literally $0. I'm fighting to get so many other things I need to do the program that the projector I'm after is way, way out of the picture. Our school has a grand total of one, which our principal scavenged from the school that used to occupy our building, and because I was hired so late I'm at the very end of the line to check it out.
So what I've done is create a project on DonorsChoose.org, the fantastic charity site that lets anyone interested in donating money choose a project that a teacher in a public school is fundraising for and give to that.
My project page is up HERE: that's at http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/prop
Every single child in every single one of my classes failed the English section of the state standardized test last year. But here's the thing. They are smart. They are capable of learning. They are capable of doing what they need to do to pass and go on to high school and college and lead wonderful, productive lives. They've got ambition: Courtney wants to be a veterinarian. Areail wants to be a doctor. Chirail wants to be a teacher. Malik wants to be a lawyer.
I will do every fucking thing I can for these children, up to and including begging everyone I know and some people I don't for loose change. So that's what I'm doing.
DO IT FOR THE CHILLUNS.
Now don't we all feel better about our feckless, wasteful lives?
But really, you should donate, Donors Choose is an excellent website.
In non-charitable events, I am on a course this week. Other students include woman who is scared of trains, women who knows nothing and makes jokes about it, and woman who snores. There is also the men who sit together and say nothing, for they are in a room ful of women.