As any teacher without much of a budget will tell you, educators have to be resourceful. And Michelle Lindsey is nothing if not creative when it comes to making sure her students have what they need to succeed.
In her 13 years as a teacher in Salemburg, North Carolina, Michelle has learned a few tricks to keep students engaged. Despite not having enough textbooks to go around, she says her students have some of the highest scores in the county.
Michelle currently teaches family and consumer science at Lakewood High School, where many students can’t afford their own materials. She only receives basics like pencils and tape from the school district, leaving most of her class without what they need.
Her solution: creating her own makeshift textbooks.
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Using plain college-ruled notebooks, glue sticks, and a few other items, Michelle makes what she calls “interactive notebooks” each school year. Not only are they tailored specifically to her class, but they make it fun for teens to follow her lessons.
But the need for supplies hasn’t gone away. This year she simply couldn’t pay out of pocket for more interactive notebooks, so in August, Michelle called for donations on Facebook.
Help came — in an outpouring of support from the special women Michelle calls her sisters.
Last year, Michelle joined Delta Sigma Theta, a nonprofit sorority of college-educated women dedicated to serving others. They quickly offered Michelle their support.
“As soon as I hit send [on the post] I had to turn my phone on silent because of the notifications coming in,” Michelle said. “It was all sisters asking, ‘What can I do?'”
Thanks to them, Michelle received nearly 100 boxes of school supplies to help her through the year. She’ll be back in the classroom on August 26 and says one of her students’ first assignments will be writing thank-you notes to everyone who donated. They’ll also show their gratitude with “supply celebrations.”
Teachers are amazing in so many ways, particularly for the incredible things they achieve with so little. They deserve all the praise in the world for doing the impossible every day — as does the sisterhood of Delta Sigma Theta for making Michelle’s job a little easier.
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