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SONIC Limeades for Learning March Teacher of the Month: How Learning Environments Inspire Students to be Their Best Selves

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One of the most important aspects of teaching is the learning environment that teachers create for their students. Teacher of the Month Marissa Weir reflects on how she has been able to use her classroom environment to inspire, excite, and encourage students to become their best selves at school.

  • Name: Marissa Weir
  • Location: Madison, Alabama
  • Grade Level: Pre-K
  • Years Teaching: 10

What is your classroom environment like this school year? 

My classroom is set up for my active Pre-K group with learning centers and activity stations to encourage hands-on exploration and experimentation.

How can community members and programs like Limeades for Learning best support teachers now, and why is it important to you? 

It is so important for the community to be involved in supporting teachers as they create classroom environments and communities. So many teachers are limited by available resources, and these programs help teachers create amazing learning environments.

What advice do you have for fellow educators during this time? 

I want other teachers to remember that we are here to do our best for our students, and that we need to focus on what is best for our students. Now, more than ever, we need to ask for and accept help so that we can do our job to the best of our ability!

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

The hugs! The feel of the school family, where we are all together working towards the same goal of helping our students become their best selves.

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

I was inspired to become a teacher because I knew that I was able to set a strong foundation and love for learning in the early years through my classroom work. I had a number of teachers in my own childhood that had a lasting impact on me, and I wanted to do the same for my students.

What is your favorite project that has received funding from SONIC Drive-In, and why? 

I cannot choose a favorite project! I love the excitement on the faces of the students as we open boxes, and get to use our new materials. I have loved seeing them use new bikes, wear lab coats as part of the science learning center, and experiment with the ramps and pulleys. I have been able to use the resources to attend professional development courses that enhanced my teaching practice in ways that impacted everyone from my classroom to my home. I also enjoy the way my students work so hard on writing thank you notes to donors!

What tips do you have for fellow educators who want to get started with DonorsChoose and Limeades for Learning? 

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, for things that are outside the box, and for what your students need. Whether you are making big requests or small requests, the community in your area wants to see students succeed!