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SONIC’s October Teacher of the Month: Making a Difference in Every Student’s Life Through Meaningful Connections

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SONIC’s October Teacher of the Month is Angela Drope who teaches third grade at Columbia Elementary in West Jordan, Utah.

Ms. Drope believes her true calling is to be a teacher. With the help of SONIC’s Limeades for Learning, she has been able to create a glowing classroom that instantly brings a smile to each child’s face. Read on to learn how she makes it a point to connect with each of her students and have a positive impact in each of their lives.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I was born to be a teacher. While my friends were playing house, I was playing school. It was truly my destiny to teach. I had several teachers in high school that were my safe place, my trusted adults. I felt the unconditional love they had for me. They made me feel like I was the only one that mattered to them. I wanted to be that for someone else. I wanted to make a difference in at least one child’s life.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I have made a positive difference in a child’s life. To see their eyes light up with excitement and joy. To hear the squeals of surprise. To hear the words, “Thank you!” It’s as simple as leaving a note on their desk about an amazing writing assignment they turned in, or a note on their pencil to let them know I care about them, I am proud of them, or remind them that they can do hard things. I want my students to know I care about them. I’m their biggest cheerleader.

What advice do you have for fellow educators?

Put your heart into teaching. Always remember: teaching is a privilege and an honor. Do not take that privilege and honor for granted. Treat the children in your class as if they were your own children. Love them like your own children. Be the safe place.

If you could give any advice to yourself as a first-year teacher, what would it be?

Don’t try and go back and change anything. Move forward with the pieces you wish you could have changed and make it better for the next student that comes through your door.

What are some ways that you stay inspired as a teacher?

My students inspire me every day! Some of them have struggles outside of school that remind me how lucky I am and how fortunate and blessed I am to be placed in their lives. My former students that write to me inspire me; those former students who reach out to me and tell me about their success. They continue to make me proud and celebrate me just as much as I celebrate them.

How do you feel community members and brands can best support teachers?

Thank a teacher. It goes a long way, especially on hard days. It is important to know that the community cares and that they’re there to support teachers.

We’re sometimes in the trenches, alone with people outside of education who truly do not know what we do daily. I invite community members into my classroom to come see us for a few hours a day. Come teach with me. Come see what teachers do on a daily basis.

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

My favorite funded project was the glow room transformation supplies. When my students walked in to a room that was glowing with bright neon lights, their faces lit up as brightly as the lights! They were stunned, excited and taken to a place of pure joy. It’s something they’d never experienced before and they just wanted to play, explore, and enjoy the moment.

What are some of the notable classroom needs you and your fellow teachers have right now?

We’re in need of snacks, general supplies that are depleted quickly, and supplies to keep ourselves safe and sanitized. Oftentimes supplies for teachers such as pens, markers, staples, and tape are overlooked.

What tips do you have for fellow educators who want to upload a project on DonorsChoose?

Be patient. Keep sharing and find creative ways to get your projects out there for others to see. Social media can be a wonderful way to get funding.

To learn more about Limeades for Learning, discover our other teachers of the month.