"At-risk," "alternative," and "behavioral" are words that my students are accustomed to hearing about themselves. However, when they enter my classroom, those words are forgotten, and I embrace them with,
"You are loved, and your ideas matter".
My students have gone through so much more than I can even imagine, and they still manage to come to school and excel every day. I have multiple kids experiencing homelessness, reservation residents, and those in group homes or foster care. If they don't have a safe place to call home, I want them to come into my classroom knowing that they have a safe place to call home.
Most of my students come from other high schools after having been asked to leave. Their faith in institutions is low. I want them to step into my class and change their minds. I want them to feel secure and respected. I want them to trust me with their learning process. They are brilliant, creative, and have such potential to discover the excitement of learning.
Our school schedule is unique; classes are Monday through Thursday with a "Flex Friday." This schedule is designed for students who need extra help or to make up for an absence. However, it becomes a time for all of our students, even the ones who do not need to utilize this day, to come and enjoy their school, a safe place where they feel at home.
Our classroom needs a long-term solution for making our extra class day valuable.
While I am so warmed by the thought of our students wanting to be at school when they don't have to be (seriously, how awesome is this??), it is difficult to create and implement engaging activities for those who do not need extra help or to make up work. I am usually left with a multitude of high schoolers socializing in my classroom.
I was recently introduced to Breakout EDU and realized this is the perfect solution to the situation at hand! It is a physical kit much like a portable Escape Room which can be programmed over and over again with different puzzles. Students can come into my classroom on Fridays and expect new mysteries and riddles every week covering the material from the lessons we are working on. Giving my students something to solve will solve my Friday problem!
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mrs. Doss.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mrs. Doss and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.