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Hannah Spafford Awarded New Classroom Start Up Grant
posted by: Cindy Omlin | February 19, 2018, 10:00 PM   

Congratulations to Sage International School of Boise’s Hannah Spafford who has been awarded a $250 New Classroom Start Up Grant from Northwest Professional Educators.  Ms. Spafford intends to use the funds to set up her new 7th grade science classroom with materials and organizational aides that will help students learn through easier access to curriculum and development of an enriching classroom environment.  NWPE Regional Director Brenda Miller presented the award at a Sage International School staff meeting.

hannah spaffordMs. Spafford describes her call to the education field as atypical.  She discovered it in in her early adult years when volunteering with adolescents, noting, “The most rewarding part of working with adolescents was being able to get them excited about learning by sharing my interests for topics and providing a different, stimulating means of accessing the materials. . .

“I find it easy to relate with students who struggle academically or with problems outside of school including poverty and food insecurity. For many students, education affords many opportunities including personal growth and the potential to break cyclical poverty. It is my hope that students understand the importance of education.”

Her biggest challenge as a teacher occurred when Ms. Spafford worked at a therapeutic boarding school. She describes an emotionally disturbed 12-year-old boy who arrived at the school without ever having been in a formal education setting. “He was unable to successfully stay in school for more than a couple of months and, as a result, could only read or write at a first-grade level. This boy would also become easily frustrated, throwing objects and cursing frequently. About four months after enrollment, this boy’s attitude began to shift. He transitioned from fighting to making an effort. This boy had always wanted to learn but experienced endless roadblocks and coped with them in the only way he knew how. The key factor in facilitating growth for him was understanding— understanding what struggles he encountered, understanding how difficult his learning process was, and understanding how to help him overcome these difficulties. Through his dedication and hard work as well as that of those around him, this boy was able to therapeutically heal and academically get up to grade level within a year and a half.”

Ms. Spafford is a new teacher at Sage International School of Boise and a recent member of Northwest Professional Educators.  Joining NWPE, she states, was an easy choice to make.  “I wanted to be a part of an organization that uplifts teachers while providing protections. In the current political climate, there is a great deal of uncertainty and little to no guarantees about what the future holds. Having worker protections is a wise choice for any individual, but especially for teachers. This is because becoming a teacher means that you are not only invested in students learning, but you are also invested in your own career. It is good to know that sacrifices made towards this investment including time, energy, and money are protected against the unexpected and constantly evolving career climate.

We congratulate Ms. Spafford and the students who will benefit from her talents, skills, and organizational ability to impart important scientific concepts.  We wish her a wonderful career and appreciate the privilege of serving as her teacher association of choice!

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