We take pride in our secret handshakes and common traits. After Christmas break we see each other in the hallways and honestly say "I missed you", and "I'm glad to be back." On Monday mornings, we share tears and laughs over the weekend's events. Over the loudspeakers, we celebrate our successes and work throughout the day to to make more improvements. But not everything is that easy.
I teach at a school that encourages students to succeed despite the poverty rates, homelessness, and hunger.
Every student in our school receives a free breakfast and lunch because of the extreme poverty rates in our county. Our students can all share about someone they know who is homeless, and many students struggle to replace necessities like shoes or to pay extra costs like graduation gowns.
Despite this, our school has one of the highest graduation rates in the state, and I believe that we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our students.
Our school has 68 computers that are consistently available to classes throughout the day. However, we have 167 students enrolled in 11th grade. This means that not even considering the other grade levels, it is a struggle for all of our juniors to use the media center computers. Furthermore, most of our students do not have access to a computer or to the Internet while they are at home due to the high levels of low-socioeconomic status in our county.
With these computers, my students will be able to practice for the SAT, use Google Classroom, improve skills with Khan Academy, and write using Word and other software.
It is especially important for my students to be able to practice for the SAT because this is the first year that the SAT will be given as our state assessment, and it would be helpful for my students to do well on the test this year so that will not have to worry about it as seniors.
Our department's goal includes sharing these laptops between the different classes, so the Chromebooks may also be used in the Creative Writing class, Newspaper class, or another grade level. We already ordered 10 Chromebooks, and the addition of two more would enable us to have one Chromebook for every student in our classes with the smallest enrollment (or one Chromebook for two students to share in our larger classrooms).
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