Picture a classroom overflowing with energy, enthusiasm, and desire to learn. Now picture that same classroom without any copy paper for making copies of handouts for students. Is a learning experience the same in a classroom without paper as it is in one that has copy paper? Of course not.
My students are some of the best and brightest around.
They come from very diverse backgrounds and have equally diverse interests and personal ambitions. Our school is a magnet school for international studies, so we have students from over 30 countries. Some students have been in the United States for the majority of their lives, but others have been in the United States for less than 2 years and know very little English. Handing out copies of notes, assignments, labs, etc. is an extremely effective way to differentiate for my students. Following instructions orally can be very difficult for an English as a Second Language (ESL) student. Similarly, copying down all notes from a PowerPoint onto paper can be very challenging as well for ESL students because rather than reading the words and attempting to understand the information, they spend so much time copying.
All of my students are incredibly hard working. Our school district was hit badly by the economic downturn and has had a difficult time recovering. Our allocation of resources is limited, but no one wants the students' education to suffer. My students are bright, talented, and extremely driven. Just like students in the district a zip code over, my students want to excel academically. Just like students in the district a zip code over, my students have interests and personal ambitions. Just like the students in the district a zip code over, my students have desires and goals that go far beyond high school. Just like the students in the district a zip code over, my students fully deserve access to a quality education. Paper may seem like a trivial request rather than a great lab kit or piece of equipment; however, a great lab is difficult to run if you don't have paper to print the procedures and materials lists.
I make a big effort to teach my students transferable skills that will help them in the long term.
Instead of simply memorizing trends in the periodic table, my students write a resume for a chemical element and then also for themselves. I weave professional skills into our daily lesson content so that upon graduating high school, my students have skills beyond the ability to pass a state test. Copy paper enables me to provide a quality education for deserving students who want to work hard.
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