Name: Melissa Loftis
School: Albemarle Road Elemenatary School
Subject or grade taught: 3rd grade
Length of time teaching: 9 years
What do you love most about teaching: I love seeing the students learn and develop as leaders in my classroom and the school. When the students come to me and have that ‘ah ha’ moment and things just start coming together. I love that! I love being with the students every day and working with them to build them as tomorrow’s leaders and best that they can be. We really try to live our motto: Believe. Be bold. Become.
What is the craziest thing you have done for school supplies? I have begged, borrowed, and gone to pick up things at businesses.
Can you tell us a story about how Classroom Central has personally helped one of your students?
I have been at Albemarle Road Elementary School for 9 years. I have taught second grade in this title one school for 8 years and have this year looped up with the class I co-taught last year. Being here is where I belong even though it requires lots of work, effort, and determination as the need is great. I have spent thousands of dollars of my own money, written grants for thousands more, and used Classroom Central when I can order to get even more supplies that my students and school need.
My coteacher Jessica Kilbride and I have grown the students we have every year by leaps and bounds. We continue to defy the odds against our class and we persevere through and build knowledge with 21st century skills, collaboration, and focus with the End in Mind. See, our class is made up of 36 English as a Second Language students who need the most intense instruction we can provide. They are beginning level ESL students who have grown so much that the majority of them will exit English as a Second Language this year!
One of many stories that sticks out in my mind is the story of Tony. He is a student who continues to be close to my heart and even though he is in 8th grade this year I still make contact when I can. He was the difficult student who was below grade level and had no parent contact or support.
But after gaining his confidence and trust I was able to develop a bond with Tony in 2nd grade. When I talked to dad about his homework I realized that they didn’t have the supplies at home to finish the homework. So off I went to classroom central on a shopping trip for the class as well as to shop for Tony. I shopped for this trip with both in my mind. When I returned to school with my load I had enough supplies (paper, pencils, pens, magazines, glue, paper, markers, etc) for the class and I had a care package just for Tony. I had scissors, tape, markers, crayons, paper, books, sharpened pencils, a new book bag, and glue.
Instead of giving it to him in front of the class I took a special trip that day to Tony’s apartment. The smile on his face and the kind words told to me by his dad made my school year. The fact that someone cared about him and his dad enough to get and bring the supplies home meant the world to both of them. Of course we still struggled as nothing is fixed with one act of kindness and generosity but he always would apologize and worked harder for me than he did for any other teacher he had.
The follow up on this story is great as well. Because of the great need that Tony had, myself and the social worker here at Albemarle Road Elementary were able to get Tony and his dad into the Habitat For Humanity program. They were able to move into a home built for them when Tony was in 4th grade. This helps remind me that all things are possible as long as we continually invest in our students and community.
The support of the community, friends, family, colleagues, and business’ are what help keep the heads of teacher held high and in return it motivates and keeps our students looking forward to the goals they have for themselves and their families. We can’t thank all the community members, business, friends, and families enough.