My students are hard workers who persevere against the odds. Our school serves about six hundred students from a low-income area, most of whom receive free or reduced lunch.
They attend one of the most rigorous, high-performing high schools in the state and they excel in their academics.
But they're also still kids and they can get stressed out easily. We build opportunities in our classroom to create community, to remember we are more than the stats we achieve, and to prepare for the world we dream about.
Modeled after a workplace environment, I started a tea station where students can have a warm beverage while doing their English assignments. During our day, students have an opportunity to drink tea together (and now with this project, also hot chocolate or coffee). They especially love enjoying a "cuppa" while curled up during independent reading or while sharing stories in writing groups.
This tea station been a wonderful addition to our classroom community, but we need more supplies to keep it up and running each week.
I currently have an electric kettle and a microwave that we use to heat water for tea. Students are trained on safety and how to ask for help in tea preparation. We have collected mugs to store in class that they wash and rehang when done.
This project also provides flexible seating for those students who get overstimulated. Just like in an office, a quick walk to the coffee cart helps stretch your muscles and refocus your mind. I have a small sofa in the class library where students can take a short break while their preferred beverage brews.
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