I have said numerous times how much my heart misses being in the classroom and teaching. As I think back on the years that I taught I have a million different memories that span the gap of time and can place me back in a room or situation in a heartbeat. I shared a few weeks ago of some of the few memories from my most recent school (click here to read) but with two additional schools and 300 additional students I know that you can understand when I say that there are a million different memories.
Last summer the New York Times shared a story about a former teacher who was dying of brain cancer and was traveling across the country to meet with former students he had taught. When asked why he was spending his last days and weeks doing this he simply replied: "I want to know if I have made a difference".
Every single teacher that I know that is dedicated to their students understands the depths of love in this simple statement.
I have always been angry with Hollywood when they find it appropriate to illuminate the "bad" that teachers are doing (in mockery)- with inappropriate relationships with students, inappropriate language at their students, or the ones that don't care about their students. Honestly these incidents (while horrible and inexcusable) are the minority in education. The teachers that I know that choose this profession do so because they want to make a difference in a students life and hope to impact the world.
Because of this I was so thrilled to be apart of the Office Depot campaign to highlight and spread the stories of just a few teachers who are changing lives each and everyday. These teachers are changing lives one student at a time. I had the opportunity to view over eight different videos that show a variety of teachers changing lives in innovative, creative, and unique ways. Each one of these teachers has done the complete opposite of what is often portrayed on TV or in movies. They are not only stepping up to the plate to teach a subject but are encouraging the generation behind them to live beyond what they thought they could. It was so hard to pick just one of the teachers to share with y'all because honestly they are all spectacular. BUT one of the stories of Brian Copes- #TeachersChangeLives brought me to tears.
Brian Copes- #TeachersChangeLives is a pre-engineering teacher at Calera High School who has pushed beyond the social norm of just having students think about helping change the world to actually doing it. He has encouraged his students to think beyond themselves and has brought them to do what he is doing: change their worlds. Brian's students- #TeachersChangeLives not only have traveled out of the country to Honduras but have made prosthetic limbs out of old car and bike parts for those who are in need! Isn't it amazing?!? In addition to this his students have also helped make utility vehicles for people in Honduras. Want to hear more about this amazing story? Click here- #TeachersChangeLives to watch the video!
Because of Brian and so many other teachers like him that exist throughout our country Office Depot and Adopt-a-Classroom are partnering together to raise awareness about teachers who are changing lives. Each and everyday teachers do innovative things in the classroom and are desperately trying to raise up a generation that will change our world for the better. Teachers spend money every year out of their pocket (especially in lower income areas) and Office Depot and Adopt a Classroom are working together to help connect donors with teachers to help continue to enhance the learning environment for students.
Do you want to register your classroom or a teacher's classroom? It is very simple! Go to the Teachers Change Lives website by clicking here. When you arrive at the website click on the red box that says "Register Your Classroom," which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website. From there follow the corresponding steps to register!
Want to donate to a teacher who already is registered? Simply go to Teachers Change Lives website here and click on the teal "Donate to a Teacher" box . This will then take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website and you can follow the corresponding steps from there.
Thank you so much to Office Depot and Adopt-a-Classroom for this exciting opportunity to highlight the amazing things that teachers are doing and a small way that we can give back!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.