My students need basic essentials for feminine care, extra shirts for days in which they forget their PE uniform, band aids, pencils for assessments (can a teacher ever have too many?), and other classroom materials.
As a new teacher in a low income/high poverty school district, I am striving to give my students the fun P.E. class they deserve. Despite the challenges teachers and students face, I want to make my gym class a place to not only have fun, but also to learn.
My students always want to be moving but struggle with the lack of equipment at our high-needs school.
Students are also yearning to be creative and show their personality, but that can be difficult when there are so many other challenges in and outside of the classroom that occupy their minds.
Physical Education teachers are expected to have a fun classroom with everyone active, and this type of classroom is exactly what my students deserve. Students deserve the means to develop fitness skills to become life long movers, while also encouraging team work, wellness, and responsibility.
Yes, every day students ask teachers for pencils, but PE teachers have even more inquires about materials students need. Some of these materials can be provided by nurses, but with our school's small budget and waste of class time sending students to see the nurse, I have decided to reach out for these resources.
Every other day I have students not just asking for pencils, but also for feminine hygiene products.
The come to me nervous and embarrassed. Unfortunately, after they got the courage to ask, I have to go through the process of saying "I do not have any", writing them a note to the nurses office, them leaving to get these products, then coming back to change while everyone else is changed for PE, and because of this, being late to class. By having these essentials, female students no longer have to take time away from class in order to find feminine products.
The other, not necessarily essentials, but still important resources include hair ties and lotion. Many girls end up losing hair ties or coming unprepared. This makes it difficult for them to participate fully in PE. Also, some of my students have refused to dress or wear their shorts because their skin is "ashy" or breaking. They ask every day for lotion, but I do not have this resource...yet.
Lastly, as is in every class room, general materials like pencils, extra shirts for those who forget uniforms, and chalk markers for our chalk boards (without the dust and mess) will help class run smoothly.
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