Kristen Bell has thought of a fantastic way to help teachers prepare for another school year.
She’s using her own Instagram account to highlight teachers and their Amazon wish lists.
Each Friday, she shares a #FeaturedTeacherFriday Instagram post with a link to a teacher’s Amazon wish list, encouraging her 11 million followers to donate supplies to that teacher’s classroom.
Many of Bell’s featured teachers are from low-income areas. One teacher told Good Morning America that getting featured by Bell changed her life and her list was almost completely fulfilled.
Sixth and seventh grade New York Spanish teacher, Veronica Landa, was featured by Bell in July.
“I was speechless. I’ve always had an Amazon wish list with the things I wanted for my students but never did I believe this would happen.”
Landa received a laptop from one of Bell’s Instagram followers. Now, she doesn’t have to track all the grades by hand.
View this post on Instagram
Happy #FeaturedTeacherFriday ?everyone! I know it’s summer break, but teachers still need school supplies and I really love doing these posts! So please meet Veronica! “My name is Veronica Landa and I have been working at Turtle Hook Middle School on Long Island, New York as a 6th and 7th grade Spanish teacher. These three years have truly been the greatest years of my life! I am very passionate about teaching a diverse group of students and strive to make a difference in their lives. Attending graduate school two nights a week has also helped me grow as a teacher and provide the best education for my students. My school is a Title 1 school. The population mainly consists of African American and Hispanic students. The majority of the students at THMS are economically disadvantaged and come from low-income families. Students are also given free breakfast and lunch. Many of my students struggle to afford books and other resources needed to succeed academically. Every day I strive to teach, guide, and support my students to become successful individuals. As a Spanish teacher, students are learning to engage in conversation and expand their knowledge about other cultures in the world. Creating a multicultural classroom teaches students to embrace and respect other cultures. I also incorporate a lot of technology games and videos in my classroom to motivate and engage my students throughout each lesson. This opportunity would help me incorporate books to expand my Spanish library and enhance students’ reading comprehension skills. My students will also be able to improve their speaking and writing skills and knowledge of the Hispanic culture. I truly love teaching Spanish and enjoy learning about my students each and every day. Any help would be greatly appreciated!” Her wishlist will be in my bio. Love you guys. ????
Tej Carbone, a second and third grade teacher in Florida is also a school social worker.
The teachers at her special needs charter school are paid less than public school teachers and they are also expected to stock their own classrooms.
With paychecks not coming out until after the school starts, teachers like Carbone have a difficult time buying the supplies they need.
View this post on Instagram
It’s time for another #FeaturedTeacherFriday! ????Today’s teacher is Tej Carbone from Florida. Tej is both a teacher and a school social worker and I am so inspired by her attitude! Here’s her story: “Hi! I’m a 33 year old former licensed clinical social worker that felt the call to the classroom. I spent this past year studying and taking certification exams in order to obtain certification as an educator. I’m now certified as a school social worker, k-6 teacher and ESE. I will be teaching 2nd and 3rd grade in a small, special needs inclusion tuition-free charter school. Half of our students have documented disabilities, and a majority of our students are on free/reduced lunch. Our salaries are even less than that of our public school counterparts, yet we serve such a unique population. We have students ranging from profound intellectual disabilities all the way up to gifted, working together in the same class. This provides a unique set of challenges , but one which I am so excited to take on. As this is my first year teaching, I do not have any income with which to supply my classroom with necessities (my first check won’t come until late August), but I would love to create a calming space, with resources for ALL of my students to be successful. I will be teaching at UCP of Central Florida, Bailes campus. We are moving to a new building this year and expanding, so I’m getting a brand new classroom. This is exciting but also means I’m starting from scratch. Thank you so much for your help!” Her wishlist will be in my bio and once again- sending a massive smooch to everyone who reads this and feels inspired to help. xo! ????
Bell did something similar last year with her hashtag #10featuredteachers. As a mom of two herself, she knows how valuable teachers are and how much they need our support.
Prepared teachers and classrooms to start the year makes a huge difference in the lives of their students.
View this post on Instagram
For our final #FeaturedTeacherFriday + #DrSeuss teacher, please meet Kristin Riggs from Belmont, NC! (Don’t worry, we’ll be back to all sorts of other teachers next Friday!) The kind hearts at @DrSeuss & @Randomhousekids will send each of Kristin’s kiddos a copy of #OhThePlacesYoullGo! Her Amazon wishlist is in my bio! “I teach Kindergarten at Page Primary School in Belmont, NC. Our school serves a wonderfully diverse population of students including english-language learners and children with special needs. We have 8 kindergarten classes and 9 first grade classes. Our job is not only to prepare our future leaders academically, but also foster growth across all developmental domains. With mandated state testing (yes, we test our babies the first days of kindergarten) paired with a highly structured and rigorous curriculum, I strive for my kids to still experience as many joys of childhood that we can provide in the classroom! They need dress-up clothes, blocks, paints, games, musical instruments, science materials, and manipulatives! We also need flexible seating to allow them to complete work while still being able to move their wiggly bodies! As a parent to young children you know there is SO MUCH more to a child than their ability to read and write. Language development, fine and gross motor skills, self-help skills, social-emotional development, creative thinking, and confidence building are all integral parts of my kindergarten classroom. You may have heard that teachers in North Carolina are some of the lowest paid teachers in the United States. We easily spend over $1,000 each year purchasing necessities for our classrooms. The craziest part is, there is no where else I’d rather spend my paycheck. Watching a child transform during a school year is the greatest gift. Support to fill our classroom with materials to nurture and stimulate my students would allow my current class, as well as future classes, the opportunity to reach their highest potentials! My greatest hope as their teacher is that they leave kindergarten with a love for learning! Thank you for being a part of this. Teachers everywhere are deserving of whatever help anyone can provide” ?
View this post on Instagram
It’s #FeaturedTeacherFriday!! Meet Brenna Frost, a 4th grade teacher at Elk Meadow Elementary in Bend, OR. Today also happens to be her last day of school, but she can store all the goodies from her wishlist safely until next year! ?? “I've been teaching at the elementary level for 13 years. I would describe myself as persistent and passionate about providing my students with a positive school experience each day. My school is a K-5, Title 1 school, meaning many of our families are working incredibly hard each day and are also in need. Approximately 50% of the students receive free/reduced-price lunch at our school. My passion for helping, celebrating, and honoring students with neurodiversities is very personal- My son is on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was 7 years old. Being his mom makes me incredibly proud. Being his mom has made me a better teacher. He showed me that being different is a good thing. He showed me that kids like him have unique ways of thinking and that makes the world a better, more interesting place to be. Year after year I teach incredible, diverse students. Six languages are spoken at our school! I love my students and their unique minds! Honoring and embracing our differences, including neurological differences like autism, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety is key to the success of all young people. I truly believe that the world would be a boring place if our brains were all the same. By providing my amazing students with sensory seating options, calming fidgets, painting supplies, and some really powerful books about feelings, I can better support all of my students year after year. Items like weighted lap blankets, wobble stools, and other sensory-friendly classroom tools can help kids feel peaceful, safe, and focused at school. The items on my wishlist can soothe, heal, and bring peace and happiness to kids! And I'd love help getting more snacks for my students! I try to give them the best version of myself each day at school, but I'd love to help them even more. Thank you! Her wishlist will be in my bio. Big love to you all! ?????
Way to go Kristen! You rock!