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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday: Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas

This week's guest blogger is Fern from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas. I love her wonderful activities and ideas. There are freebies, recipes, coupons and so much more on this blog, so please stop by and visit!

Hello there, I am Fern Smith from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas. I absolutely love Cachey Mama’s Wishlist Wednesday and I’m thrilled at a chance to get to know some of her followers! I work at an older, Title I school in Orange Park, Florida. My parents moved here in 1978 so that I could attend a safe, excellent school district. I would have attended the school that I teach at, but we moved when I was in 7th grade. All of my neighborhood friends, at the time, had graduated from this elementary school. I moved back to this school district as fast as I could so that my children could graduate from here! I love telling my boys and girls the street I grew up on and how I came back to teach at this school for that very reason! It is now considered a very poor community, but I wouldn’t work anywhere else. My children NEED me! I have worked at “rich” schools and “poor” schools since I am a Navy Wife and I now plan to retire from the school I am working at right now! I was hired full-time this year and was also blessed to be voted Teacher of the Year.

So now that you know my school’s background, I can tell you that luckily I want for nothing. If I request furniture, it shows up. A laptop? My AP was back in less than 20 minutes. We have unlimited copies, unlimited paper, all the textbooks and test prep that we need. When we hold tutoring sessions, if I ask for something, I get it. When my supply money was $7.00 short on a Frog Pond game I wanted, it was rounded up, no question asked. I’ve been at other schools where this isn’t true, so I’m not leaving for the World! Our church also stocks a room with donated backpacks, crayons, pencils, paper, all sorts of school supplies. When a child needs something and can’t afford it, just get the key to the donated items room and they are back in the business of learning!

However, with all those luxuries available, the one thing I wish for more than anything is that my students go to the PUBLIC LIBRARY and develop a love of books. Although I teach Math & Science, I am always loaning them my books, no check out system required. I tell them, “I trust you, return it when you are done.” I’ve never lost a book yet! Then I tell them, just down the street {seriously, only about 3 blocks} is the library where you can get 25 books at a time & it is free!!! It is the same library I went to growing up!

I now have quite a few families that go and the parents will tell you it is because I “hounded” the child into going! My parents wanted to travel and see the World, and then plopped down in this small, little town in 1978. The one place I loved no matter how poor we were or how well off we were doing, was the public library. The books at the library let you travel to many wonderful places each night as you read! I tell my students that I was wealthy because my parents read to me! It is going to be their job when they are parents to read to their children.

Hopefully saying that one little thing, over and over, might break their cycle of poverty!