Home » Life and Times in our House » An Ode to my Mother #TeachersChangeLives

An Ode to my Mother #TeachersChangeLives

Teachers Change Lives

A statement that could never be more true.

I am a former teacher that is staying home with my two little munchkins.  I have seen first hand what a little extra help, supplies, and care can do to make a classroom come alive.  I was very fortunate to be at a school that had a very active group of parents that would make sure that each classroom had the necessities- Kleenex, paper, markers, pencils.  Even so I usually paid $150-250 dollars a year in supplemental products to help aid in my teaching.

The night before Valentine’s Day, my husband, co-workers and I covered the school with chalk paint symbols of love and encouragement.
Bomb Shelter, Mock Trials, Complete Election Campaigns, Real-World Monopoly- I loved the opportunity to make learning an adventure.

My mother is the best teacher that I know. And I am blessed to know many, many wonderful teachers.  No, I am not biased. This is just a simple truth.  I do not know anyone that cares for her student’s as much as my mother.  She genuinely cares about their learning, their future, and ensures that they are able to meet their goals in HS and on to college.  She is an eighth grade science teacher.  

But she is so much more than that.

She is the teacher that turns those kids(you know those kids), the ones that hate life, take light on the fact that ruining a class isn’t a big deal, the ones that even in eighth grade have decided that continuing their education-even in HS-is not worth their time nor their consideration- and turns them into gentlemen(and gentlewomen).  The ones that are a loss, as other teachers just decide to throw them out of class day after day.  I have seen firsthand how many lives she has changed, how many people she has saved, and how successful they have become because she took the time to care when they were in eighth grade.  She has taught long enough that her students are off in life, in college, and come back year after year to stop in and talk to her about what they are doing with their lives.

She is the science teacher that all students want.  The ones that the parents love.  The teacher that is remembered year, after year, after year.

Science can be a daunting adventure into the unknown, full of facts to be memorized and laws to be explained and learned. 

Science can be explained much easier with visuals-labs in particular.  My mother completes labs with her students weekly.  The set-up, take-down, and overall prep-work for completing labs in itself is why some educators do them sparingly.  My mother blows things up, lights things literally on fire(like hands), uses gas, Oobleck and all of Newton’s Laws to essentially bring science to life in her classroom.

In the spring time time, she heads out to a local farm to collect eggs, and incubates them in her classroom- making sure to bring them home each weekend.  She uses food coloring-one that does not harm the soon to be chickens-and inserts them into the egg.  Through this process the chicks hatch with bright down feathers that eventually fall out when they mature into full-grown chickens.  The students are there for every step of the process- and she makes sure to never miss an opportunity for a teachable moment.  Every ounce of science is explained and better yet- the students get to bear witness to the creation of life!  The chicks are kept in the classroom until they are strong enough to make it back at the farm.  The students learn a valuable lesson on caring and being gentle with such young creatures- something surely many eighth grade boys need to remember from time to time.  

Before Coke and Mentos were popular she used the formula to explain laws of physics and chemical reactions first hand.  Students were able to bring soda and mentos to class and use her tool to see what the perfect combination of candy and soda would be to get the highest reaction.  

FYI: A 2 Liter of Diet Coke and Five Mentos is the answer.

When students are involved in their own education, and out there “in the field” making observations and essentially making scientific facts and theories come to life- that my friends-is where learning takes place.  Every theory, every law can just be words or numbers on the white board.  A truly great teacher takes the time to explain and SHOW  her students exactly what those theories and laws mean.  

My mother spends hundreds of dollars a year for her classroom to be equipped with the materials needed for her labs.  She believes it is a necessity and without a science fund account-budget cuts- she takes it upon herself to make up the difference.

Office Depot is enabling you to help fund fabulous teachers like my mom.  Your donations go to the classroom of your choice and will directly impact the students you have chosen to support.  Education comes first.  But you need a teacher with the knowledge, tools, and supplies to ensure that our future generations are successful.
Another teacher that is surely worth your time and attention is Jeffrey Wright.

Jeffrey Wright is a physics teacher in Louisville, Kentucky. His classroom is full of experiments from plasma balls, to hovercrafts. He teaches students to apply what they learn to real life. A big part of science is failing, and he teaches students that it’s okay to fail but to keep trying. He believes you have to give back to make the world brighter.

Please take a second out of your day and send this information to a deserving teacher- there are many out there that could surely use your help!

    • How to Register Your Classroom as a Teacher
      1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website
      2. Click on the red box that says “Register Your Classroom,” which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
      3. Follow the corresponding steps from there

Remember that teacher that took the time to explain that theory another way?  The one you could count on in school?  We all have that one that made an ever-lasting impact.  Please take the time to donate.  Every little bit helps!

    • How to Donate to a Teacher
      1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website 
      2. Click on the teal “Donate to a Teacher” box on the Teachers Change Lives website, which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
      3. Follow the corresponding steps from there
An important message from Office Depot:
  • Teachers spend money every year out of their own pocket, especially in underfunded areas.
  • Teachers are doing innovative things in the classroom and you can help them do more by donating
  • You can donate to the teacher highlighted in the video, or a teacher in your local community
  • Adopt-A-Classroom is a nonprofit organization that helps connect donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for students
  • Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered to raise awareness about teachers, and all that they do in the lives of their students


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

One Response to An Ode to my Mother #TeachersChangeLives

  1. I enjoyed watching active teachers and appreciate that Office Depot makes education a priority.