Going back to school often has a more negative reputation. You have homework, tests, and, worst of all, waking up early. Thanks, but no thanks. However, if you had Tressa Bargella as your teacher this year then I’m sure you wouldn’t mind going to school everyday.
The third grade teacher at Valley View Intermediate School in Pennsylvania went cast a spell over her classroom with amazing Harry Potter-themed decor. Check out all the work she put into this wizardly project!
Image Via ABC News
Image Via Today
Image Via Babble
Pretty sweet, right? I think all Potterheads would consider taking third grade math again if it meant they could hang out in this classroom. Check out the interview Bargella had with People Now below!
Back to school season is upon us and whether you’re a freshman entering high school, a senior finishing their last year of college, or a teacher, now is as good a time as any to re-energize your batteries! Here are 10 inspiring quotes on education that will spark your back to school spirit!
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela
“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”
– Thomas Paine
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
– Malcom X
“Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody.”
– Jane Austen
“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”
– Nikos Kazantzakis
“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
– Baruch Spinoza
“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
“Wisdom…. comes not from age, but from education and learning.”
– Anton Chekhov
“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”
If you’re thinking of becoming a librarian, or are already one, we have some bad news for you. U.S. public schools are saying goodbye to librarians as the rate of full-time hired librarians has dropped significantly in the last fifteen years and will likely continue to decline, according to NCES.
The School Library Journal recently examined statistical datagathered by the National Center for Education Statistics which found that between 1999-2000 and 2015-16 school years the percentage of full-time librarians dropped by 19%, going from 53, 659 to 43,357.
Source: School Library Journal
As you can see in the graphics provided by SLJ, while the amount of full-time librarians have slowly dropped since 1999, the Great Recession of 2008 appears to have exacerbated the decline.
The shortage of librarians has paid a hard blow to some states in particular, with California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Michigan coming in as the top five states which have lost the most amount of full-time librarians.
Source: School Library Journal
While the shortage of librarians remains a problem for every classroom in the United States public school system, its an even larger issue for minorities.
According to Education Week reports, the shortage of librarians predominately affects racially diverse school districts as they have seen the most amount of librarians dismissed. 75% of school districts which haven’t lost a librarian since 2005 are white, while 78% of school districts which have lost the most librarians were comprised of minority student populations.
This is a significant issue considering the already-existing challenges many urban and minority school districts face. According to a USDA 2013 report, “64 percent of students receive free or reduced price lunches, indicating that their families are at or near the federal poverty level.” Urban schools have also had a history of limited government funding and socioeconomic disadvantages. Therefore decreasing the amount of full-time librarians takes away beneficial educational support to students who already face educational disadvantages.
I used to teach, and one of the hardest things about being a teacher was trying to find something that students would actually want to read. For students with dyslexia, reading can be challenging, and they would rather avoid it. However, one seventh-grader has found a potential solution to this problem in the form of comic books.
Anthony Rota is a thirteen-year-old student at Doherty Middle School in Andover, Massachusetts. In a presentation to around thirty elementary school students, he shared how comic books helped him overcome his dyslexia and find a love of reading. In an interview with The Eagle-Tribune, Rota said,“They were short, really cool stories. I could look at the pictures. They were easy to read. You will see improvement fast — the more you read the better you get at reading.”
Image Via The Eagle-Tribune
Rota had to switch schools when he was in the fourth grade because of his dyslexia. He felt bad because it forced him to leave his friends behind. Luckily, he ended up with a teacher who encouraged him and his interest in comic books. For her, seeing him go on to help younger students is a teacher’s dream come true.
For Rota, dyslexia is not only no longer a burden but is actually a superpower. Rota explained to the students how dyslexia can boost creativity and makes people better at certain tasks, like spotting Waldo in the Where’s Waldo? books.
Image Via The Eagle-Tribune
When describing why he felt the need to help others, Rota explained, “I have dyslexia and wanted to help kids with dyslexia because I know it can be hard for them. Comic books helped me and I think it can help other kids.”
Teachers need our appreciation now more than ever. All across the globe teachers today are struggling with painfully low budgets, making it nearly impossible to supply their classrooms with the materials they need, give their students the attention they deserve, and create a safe and steady learning environment.
Last Friday, teachers in Arizona returned to work after a six-day strike protesting the state’s budget cuts. The strike ended because legislative lawmakers agreed to give the teachers a 20% pay raise, along with a budget increase. The only catch, however, is that the new budget will be coming from a tax raise for those living in low-income school districts. Meaning, these tax raises will only really affect working-class and middle-class households and will not affect the wealthier households directly.
A strike against a decrease in school budgets also took place last month in Oklahoma City, where tens of thousands of teachers gathered in protest. They were fighting a system that has decreased their schooling budget by more than 30% over the last decade, leaving their school infrastructures in such a bad state indoor volleyball games are often cancelled due to rain that pours down from the ceiling and their textbooks are crumbling to pieces.
Image Via The Daily Dot
Teachers aren’t just struggling with unrealistically low budgets in the United States, however; In England, a survey was released today showing that 90% of teachers claim to have taken money from their “pupil premium” funds in order to fill in the holes of the budget. The pupil premium funding is a resource meant to help students from low-income households strive in school. Teachers are frustrated they’ve had to dip into these funds on multiple occasions in order to afford the supplies they need; worried about how this will negatively affect the students relying on these sources.
Statistically speaking, school budgets began to decline in 2009, immediately following the recession. Since then, there’s been a steady decline in budgeting for schools. In 2017 alone, schools cut budgets by more than 7%. These budget declines have led to curriculums and after-school programs being cut, teachers and other faculty being laid off, and classrooms being overpacked with students.
Image via Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Budget cuts don’t just negatively affect teachers; the entire school faculty is being negatively affected. Librarians have been fighting hard to keep their positions within schools; as have coaches, band directors, theatre directors, and more.
Last September, this listdetailing the ways schools can help fight budget cuts was released. Still, despite their best efforts, it’s impossible for anyone to do their job correctly if they aren’t given the means to do so.
So today, make sure the teachers in your life know just how much you appreciate their endless compassion, selflessness, and support. Stand beside them in the fight. Teachers are a necessity. So much of our future as a society depends upon the quality of our schools. Without steady schooling, children aren’t being given the opportunity for a fair and proper education. We need to listen to our teachers; they know what they need.
“Listen to one another like you know you are scholars. Artists. Scientists. Athletes. Musicians. Like you know you will be the ones to shape this world. Show me how many colors you know how to draw with. Show me how proud you are of what you have learned. And I promise I will do the same.”