Every year I find that if I get them to open their minds, just a little, my students truly want to learn. It is amazing what can hold them back...and sometimes it can be something as little a a pencil.
My school is a Title I school where over 94% of my students receive free and reduced lunches.
We are in a high poverty area near a city in South Carolina. I teach sixth grade science. I have smart, wonderful, curious students.
As stated, my students do love to learn. They are excited about science. They are growing in understanding about the world around them. They are learning how to learn and understand new things on their own.
A small thing like a pencil can be a huge obstacle. Not having a pencil at all can really impede the learning momentum. I have many students that are ashamed to ask for pencils, others that do not want to find a pencil, and still other that will shut down or at least slow down in what they are thinking about content-wise to worry about their pencil.
It seems like a little thing, and it is. It is a small problem to students that have much bigger and looming difficulties in their lives. So many of my students come from environments where a lot of resources are lacking. A pencil is the least of their worries...that is, until they are faced with a teacher expecting them to have one.
A pencil becomes yet one more stress in a life that may already be stressed to the breaking point. In my nine years, I have seen several times when a pencil has been the "straw that breaks the camel's back" for students. They have a breakdown or begin to act out just because they do not have a pencil.
Through Donor's Choose last year, I finally had enough pencils to be "free" with them. I could never afford to keep up with the need myself, but through donations I was able to do so last year. It made all of the difference in the world! Pencils no longer caused stress in my classroom. However, my supplies are running short.
You can help me restock my collection of pencils.
You can help me allow pencils not to cause tension for students in my classroom. Students that I teach have enough stacked against them in life, and your donation can make sure that pencils are not one of these things!
You are awesome! I know that a student remembering to have a pencil may not seem huge, but it really is for some kids. Thank you for being willing to think about this and helping me de-stress the lives of my students!
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