• Stephanie Yewdell

A trip down memory lane: Part Two


Thanks to Facebook memories, I was reintroduced to my first literacy blog I created for a grad school assignment. I am going to be reposting my old posts here. They are a reminder of why I became a teacher. They are a reminder of how I developed my teaching style. They are a reminder of my pedagogical philosophy. Many of the posts I have reread, still ring true to me and are embedded in my daily practice as a teacher.

Originally Posted on I'm Making Readers & Writers For Life December 2, 2011.

"The Hard Choice"

Earlier this week I happened to open my Groupon email (rare occasion since I do not necessarily need to be tempted) and was beyond excited to see that they were offering for only $10 a $50 donation to Donors Choose. How fortuitous that I opened my email that day. I LOVE, just LOVE what DonorsChoose.org does. For those of you who have no idea what I am raving about, here is what DC does in a nutshell. So how it works is teachers post their wants and needs (mostly needs) for their classroom and how it will benefit their students. Then a donor goes online shopping for which project they want to support. Once enough money is raised DC will send the needy class room their requested supplies. I bought 2 Groupons, which was the maximum allowed and last night I spent time pouring over the requests for which project to donate to. I knew that I wanted it to be based in literacy education but did not know which of the thousands (yup you read that right) projects to settle on. I knew it had to be a project that was classified as high poverty (self-imposed). After much lamenting I settled on two very similar projects for eager readers. One teacher was requesting books and flash drives to save students work and the other was just requesting books. I could have split my 2 Groupons, but did not. I didn’t split them because I didn’t want to hedge the chances that two deserving projects would not get funded. So by me donating the whole $100 to one specific product I knew my investment would have a greater chance of reaching its goal. Or at least I am hoping so.

So after about 20 or 30 minutes grappling with which project to help fund I decided on Ms. Paula’s “Reading is Cool” project. My rationale behind choosing this one over the other one was Ms. Paula exhibited a goal of having a more balanced literacy approach in her class. She requested both supplies for reading and writing. She wants to cultivate and promote an environment where both reading and writing are equally important. Just like Ms. Paula, I know that in my classroom I am going to have the same idea. I want my students to become both readers and writers for life. I want to give them as many opportunities to flex their writing muscles as well as challenge them with varied texts. While I plan to work in the inner city, I too will use an organization like Donorschoose.org to fill my classroom with books for every reader, for every genre.

I love to read and write and I want my students to feel that same passion. Right now in my practicum placement I know that my students love to read. They all independently read, and talk with their peers about the books they are currently reading. But when it comes to writing it is still a chore. I get it though; it was not until after college that I realized I loved to write. So I am going to challenge myself as tomorrow’s educator to close the gap, to make writers love to write today and not when they are 22. This passion for writing will come because of balanced literacy. Students will immerse themselves in books and feel inspired to mimic their favorite author or book. This passion that drives me is why I chose to support Ms. Paula’s project because she like myself it striving to close so many gaps and keep her avid students on the trajectory for greatness.

Ms. Paula’s project is still $261 from its goal. If you feel as inspired as I do please make a donation. Any size will help some of the most deserving students. Even if Ms. Paula’s project does not drive your desires, take a look at other projects on Donors Choose and help a deserving classroom.

#Groupon #DonorsChoose #Education

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