Rob shares his thoughts on the state of education as well as important details that parents can use to help support their child's learning.

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My Classroom Angel

I am very grateful

A few years ago, a dear friend of mine from Chicago, IL decided to become my angel when she generously donated some money to my classroom with instructions to use it for anything that in my judgment would best benefit the children in my classroom. Her initial donation allowed me to purchase an iPad for my autistic students. The following year, this same angel, again, decided to bestow on my classroom and by definition, my autistic students, another gift of financial love. My classroom angel is one of the main reasons I have not only the materials necessary, but also the amount of materials required, to clinically teach my students in a manner consistent with how each of them learns best.

For the third year in a row and for the fourth time since I have known this delightful woman, she has made yet another financial contribution, of kindness, to my classroom and, again by definition the lives of the students I teach. The generosity my angel has shown over the years combined with the number of years I've been teaching, as well as, acquiring materials, means I don't really feel the need to make any large singular purchase this year. In other words, my classroom has all the major appliances needed this year given the age and needs of the particular children I am currently servicing.

What I could really use are the smaller mostly consumable things. Think back to my appliance metaphor: I have the major items I need (refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, etc.). Now, what I need to start thinking about are dishtowels, glassware, silverware, etc. (i.e. the little things). Every year, the "housewares" needs of a teacher's classroom changes because they are teaching a new group of students who have different likes, dislikes, interests, etc. and they may be different developmentally. These seemingly little things (e.g. reinforcers, pencils, arts and crafts, holiday decorations, etc.) add up quickly, which is why my classroom angel's gift this year is so fitting.

Parents, you too can become a classroom angel. Donate $10 to your child's teacher in the form of a gift card (office or teacher supply stores work well) a few times a year. Can't afford that? We understand! Donate an hour of your time once a week. Maybe you are afraid that you don't have perfect mastery of the English language so you wouldn't be helpful. Don't let that prevent you from truly becoming an angel to a few or many of the students we teach. A good teacher will welcome your support!

Anyone can be a classroom angel because all of you, like my classroom angel, have something to offer. For my angel and her friendship, I am very grateful. Your child's teacher will be, too.

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