Shelter from the Storm: Teaching a life that matters
Ms. Maria Rosa Reifler is a fifth grade teacher at Wilcox Elementary School in East Los Angeles. It’s a tough place to grow up and requires a special type of teacher to get the best out of its students. Ms. Reifler seems to be that kind of teacher.
THAT ONE TEACHER
Not only does Ms. Reifler provide a safe learning environment for her students, she goes a step further and teaches the kids to like themselves and never stop striving to improve their own lives. Ms. Reifler empowers her students to achieve, and that sense of control can mean the world for a kid who faces many issues at home that he/she cannot control.
She asks, “What kind of human being are you going to be?” and insists that we must teach the total human being. She teaches that we should not tell a child that a certain job or salary is the ultimate goal of education, but rather, education’s end-goal should be to develop an emotionally healthy and constructive adult. It’s a stance that treats education not only as a tool, but as a formative experience in a child’s life. One of the highlights of the video is when her students tell us what they want to be when they grow up, and it’s quite the inspiring little clip.
Ms. Reifler is the kind of person this section of CraveGood was made to feature. Not only does she create impact that is genuine, directed, and effective, but she inspires others, kids and adults alike. Many of us have known a “Ms. Reifler” in our lives; a teacher or mentor who pushed us further than we thought we could go and helped us find a vision for the future that we could work towards.
As the education sector progresses with endeavors like edtech and policy reform gaining support, we should not forget just how impactful a small change in the classroom experience can be.
In the spirit of celebrating great teachers and teaching, we’ve highlighted organizations you can contribute to that directly improve classrooms around the country. This is of course, in addition to personally reconnecting with and thanking those teachers who have gone the extra mile for you.
DonorsChoose.org is a donation site where public school teachers post classroom project requests which range from pencils for poetry to microscopes for mitochondria. You can give any amount to the project you choose and when it reaches its funding goal, the materials are shipped to the school.
Not only that, but donors will get photos of the project taking place, a letter form the teacher, and insight into how the money was spent. Big Spender? $50 or more gets you hand-written thank-yous from the students!
AdoptAClassroom.org is a donation site dedicated to helping teachers get the materials they need into their classrooms. The site can even find specific teachers by name who you want to help out and 100% of all donations goes to the teachers.
AdoptAClassroom.org offers teachers credit from the donations to shop at their network of affiliate vendors to meet classroom needs. Each donor receives an impact report that summarizes dollar-by-dollar what the teacher purchased with the donation. They hope to foster a lasting relationship between classroom teacher and donors that results in cumulative improvements with each new class.
Video Credit: John X. Carey (@Johnxcarey)