The educational system is really in some bad places and for all the talk I hear from politicians, I haven’t heard many things that make me feel like we are getting on a better path. I really think all of us have a role in improving education — some of us directly impact the education of children like my little sister (you may remember when I celebrated her becoming nationally board certified), others can help support teachers like her (I frequently do that with Donor’s Choose for her and classes nearby in Ferguson) all of us need to take a role in helping our communities and politicians understand.
Teaching for almost two decades, she has seen everything. I remember in her early classroom, there was a student who suffered from sickle-cell anemia. Tears still well up when I think of the pain the student endured and I never even met him. I just have her stories about trying to help him manage it.
Every year, there are students who are living in poverty. Who’s parents don’t have the means to meet the students’ needs. There have been extra uniforms kept at school for students who didn’t have enough or who didn’t get laundered. Supplies are a constant need. Every teacher who works in low-income areas can tell you that. Even I end up buying backpacks when I see them on clearance because there are always students who don’t have one but will take great care of it if they have one provided.
That stuff begins weighing on you, even when you have summers off and chances to get in a little fun travel. So when my sister found out about an intensive retreat called Breathe for Change specifically for educators designed to blend physical, spiritual and mental health while building community, she knew it was for her. The training will help her manage stress as well as give her tools to help students manage their own stress. She’s already doing the pre-work because we feel certain ends will be met!
But as you can guess, paying for a couple of weeks of training, spending a couple of weeks in a hotel, getting a dog sitter and more… it is all out of reach of a public school teacher. So my sister (and I) are asking for help. While it is definitely outside of her comfort zone, she’s giving friends and family a few ways they can help.
Here are some ways you can help!
- Share my GoFundMe page to get the information out there to a larger audience.
- Send me a message of encouragement or support.
- Help with the costs. Training is $1500 (after a scholarship and teacher appreciation discount). Housing is $1200 (after a friend has used points for 5 nights).
- You can donate through the GoFundMe or directly and I can add it without the fees taken out. Just contact me.
- Help me find a college girl student who is able to house/dog sit for reduced rates at a home in Memphis for almost three weeks.
This program is going to refuel me so that I am the best me and better able to pass along healthy practices to my community. (This video shows the impact/testimonial for one teacher.)
Please support me so that I’m able to continue supporting others.
I’m helping on the cash side, but also felt like I had to make it possible for some of the people who read my blog to help. Even if you think what you can do is really small, it will add up AND my sis will know there are more folks supporting her.
And I really encourage you to reach out to the teachers in your community and find out ways you can help them… Maybe Leslie can share some of what she learns in case they should check it out too. What they do in the classroom can make the a big difference in our neighborhoods!