A New Venture
A few weeks ago I started a new and exciting venture. I am taking a year off from my graduate studies and working as a special education teacher for 6-8 grade students who need emotional support in the Philadelphia Public School District. My students are working with me to develop essential skills managing their emotions and eliminating behavioral patterns that prevent them from learning in traditional classroom settings.
My classroom is located (in the basement!) at Martha Washington School in the Mill Creek neighborood in West Philadelphia.
This work is a huge challenge but it is also very rewarding. I already love my students and want to do everything I can to prepare them for highschool and adulthood and to help them develop in wisdom, character, social skills, and all the tools they need to cope with and navigate through their often stressful and chaotic life circumstances. I also want to help some of them fill in significant gaps in their reading, writing and math proficiency.
How You can Help
In just the first two weeks I have often glimpsed the possibilities a year with my students might provide. They are bright, curiuous and eager to overcome the obstacles in their paths to success. But I have also encountered the blunt edge of working in a resource-drained community and school. I have seen how the potential to successfully intervene in the lives of students like mine is crippled by staff-shortages, old and non-existant curriculum, broken technology, a shortage of books and essential school and classroom supplies.
I decided not to wait anymore for these essential tools to get to us through the proper channels. I want books, paper, whiteboards, a stereo, a clock, cleaning supplies, desks & chairs, internet connectivity, keyboards and mice that work and a some other things in my classroom ASAP and I need your help to make that a reality. Help me transform a dingy and drafty basement room into a place my students can safely and effectively reach their educational goals. Whatever you can do to help will make a giant impact in the lives of these incredible kids and I will deeply appreciate any contribution, good wishes and moral support. Thanks!
- Melissa Naschek
- Bethanne Fox
- Kendra Purcell