Several years ago I was required to do internships at different schools so that I could see what it was like to be a school principal. At the time, I had only been in middle and high schools and was quite lucky to have the experience to visit four different elementary schools for one week at a time. Part of what I'd do is shadow the principal and watch them work. As much theory as one can get from books, it is an invaluable thing to watch a practitioner in action. The four principals I shadowed are some of the very best I've ever witnessed and their encouraging words made it possible for me to believe that I could actually do this work with the fiery passion I had for kids.
At one of the schools I was lucky enough to witness Mr. C's classroom. His room was directly across from the main office where I spent some of my time. He is a special needs teacher who works so well with kids that I was immediately impressed with his patience. Mr. C, I learned last week, is doing some work with his students that require iPods so that he can incorporate technology in the classroom. Here is a quote from his district webpage:
Children with special needs should be given the best we as educators have to offer. They deserve the best practices, learning environment, materials and technology coupled with the highest expectations for their success.
Mr. C gave me the thumbs-up to write about what he's doing in his classroom and my intent is to help him get votes for a classroom project he wants to do with his students. The longer I've been blogging about schools and education the more I realize that I can help shine a light on amazing things that are happening in schools. Somehow, by sheer dumb luck I'm sure, I have garnered a following of diverse, supportive readership. When people ask what my blog is about I usually say that it's a personal blog, but I know I also fall into the 'mommyblogger' category but I admit that I write more about education than I do almost anything else. Even fashion and lip gloss. To wit, my first article for Teaching Tolerance is up. Granted, I'm mostly discussing how we can bring Islam into the classroom in light of the controversy over the building of Park51, but I know that I can help spotlight things like what Mr C is doing. Complete aside that I can't fit any better in this post than to just say it: when I walked my dog tonight in my neighborhood, I noticed that our Muslim neighbors have a sticker on their mailbox that reads Proud to be an American and I thought to myself, Good on you! I'm no more American than you are! and then I made a mental note to bring them brownies or pie or something. Just because.
Mr C has a project up through Limeades for Learning. It's sponsored by Sonic and DonorsChoose. He wants to use technology in his classroom of K-2 students who come to him with a variety of disabilities. He's hoping to get some iPods for their independent use, but I know for a fact that he's also hoping to expand this wish list to iPads for his students. Not long ago I read an article by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, a contributing editor on parenting children with special needs at BlogHer. Her son, who is autistic, won an iPad through a raffle and he experienced astonishing results. Reading that made finding this project by Mr. C all the more pressing for me to help promote.
Mr. C and his students. Couldn't you eat them up with a spoon?
If you'd like to help Mr. C or another teacher out, please visit the links above. He needs votes for his project as well as donations and DonorsChoose gave me $100 to give to my favorite project. Mr. C and his kids got that money for the iPods they want to purchase. I'm giving away another $100 for any reader who'd like to donate as well. In fact, the prize pack includes the following:
1. $100 DonorsChoose gift card.
2. $25 gift card to Sonic (Route 44 Cherry Limeade, anyone? YUM.)
3. A backpack filled with some school supplies.
Any comment will do. Giving back is just that easy sometimes. Comments will be open until the end of Labor Day on Monday, September 6, 2010. Thanks for even taking a moment to comment. Every single comment is like a ray of sunshine to me and I say a sweet little prayer of thanks any time you take the time to do it.
Update: in less than 24 hours Mr. C's goals were met and all the funds were raised. Thank you again for your support. Those of you who voted and donated, my deepest appreciation.