I work at an absolutely incredible school. Positivity and hope for our students' futures run amok, even in the face of adversity. It's a high needs area: our school is 95% free and reduced lunch, 90% minority, and 85% English language learners. My classroom reflects these demographics in such a beautiful way.
We are unified, not uniform.
We're a diverse group and together we spend the day learning about fifth grade topics, and through interactions with each other, we learn about the world around us.
Each year, students take mandated diagnostic tests, district tests to gauge their readiness for the state tests, state tests, and language proficiency tests. All are on the computer. Each of these tests last for hours, which accumulate to a lot of time, with headphones, testing.
My students work hard to focus, to demonstrate how much they now know; however, during each test, they spend time adjusting their sweaty, cheap headphones, untangling cords, and piecing together equipment.
They adjust and readjust, hoping for more comfort, better sound, or an untangled cord. There are enough obstacles in my students way, they don't need some old pair of headphones holding them back.
New headphones would bring students more than just a comfortable testing experience. During normal days, with new headphones, students can curl up in their own quiet space, free from the knot of tangled chords and the distractions of other students. They can have books, math problems, and directions read to them. They can use headphones as a tool to help bridge language gaps. They can interact with the curriculum in a customized way at their own level. Technology is opening up so many doors to students with unique backgrounds and languages, and headphones can fill the missing piece to this puzzle.
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