Friday, March 8, 2013

Pay It Forward: Giving to Teachers and Hopping for Bloggers!!

If you've been following See Beautiful for a while, you know that in lieu of selecting a non-profit this month to donate a portion of our product sales to, we're honoring teachers (and their awesomeness!) throughout the month by supporting ways they're creating more beautiful in their classrooms. This is how we're seeing beauty in this moment: In teachers!

This month, See Beautiful will randomly select 10 teachers who have submitted entries with us to receive $100 each to support them in their journey of creating more beautiful learning environments for their students!

 So, each week we will select two teachers from around the world, and make a donation to her/his classroom. On average, teachers spend $400 per year to stock their classrooms with supplies for students, but we personally know hundreds who spend hundreds more than that to create a hands-on, engaging, exciting learning environments for young learners to grow within.  We see so much beautiful in those teachers who work so hard to empower children to create a more beautiful world built upon critical thinking, empowerment, confidence, love and social justice. Thank you teachers. Thank you so, so much.

Here are the submissions from around the world this past week. As you will see, each of the teacher's who entered this opportunity have incredible reflections about how their students see and create more beautiful in the world. It gives us so much hope that such inspiring, giving, committed, loving teachers are making this world a better place with children on a daily basis. (NOTE: Those teachers who are not selected will be automatically added to next week's random drawing.)

1. Janalee Ferreira; Talara, Peru

Janalee writes, "As soon as I read this article, I knew I had to apply... But not for me, for my beautiful students. I am currently working in an English language institute in Talara, Peru. I teach English to both adults and children for five hours a day and I love my job so much solely because of how magical my students are. Talara is quite a poor town on the northern coast of Peru, and I know many students and their family's how save up money for months per a year..." (the rest of her comment was cut off...don't worry, we'll get it though)

2. Kathryn Antman; Georgia, USA

Kathryn writes, "I have the joy of seeing beautiful in the creations of my elementary art students. In my studio classroom each artist is encouraged to create from their own inspiration, and they have tons of inspiration! If you all were kind enough to send $100 our way, I would purchase a drawing tablet or two (if I can find a sale) for our classroom computers. It is hard to draw with a mouse and the tablet would make a huge difference in the enjoyment and skill of my digital artists. Thank you!"

3. Sarah Moske; Tennessee, USA

Sarah writes, "1) I see beauty in my kindergarten students everyday. They are so sweet to each other and the world around them. They love art and making things. 2) I would love to use the $100 to buy some new and fun interesting art supplies for my students. I would love to be able to help them expand their creativity. I think being creative is beautiful :)"

4. April Sheivelhud; Georgia, USA

April writes, "I see BEAUTIFUL in my students every single day. The number of ways that beauty shines through their actions, thoughts, and schoolwork are nearly immeasurable. However, a few bright things shine above all of the rest. Their humor, background, and interest in learning new things are qualities that I feel blessed by every single day.

Every single day my students stroll by with either a smile or half-smile that says they are ready to take on another day of learning. Considering this is my first year as a classroom teacher, I feel so blessed by every one of my students. They are from very diverse backgrounds: Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Syria, etc. The plethora of needs that burden my young students' families at home does not appear to hold them back from learning.

I strive to reach my students by using background knowledge as much as possible. Specifically, I have one new student from Dominican Republic that speaks zero English. I know that she loves music and basketball. I would love to reach more students like her with literature that would really draw her in. I imagine having a broader non-fiction section for my ESOL students to browse through to be a great way to connect to their interests and background knowledge.

Another really important element of learning the English language is writing it. Many of my students will be required to take a writing test this Wednesday. Most of them are also required to pass it. I would love it if these young people were encouraged to write a little more in an authentic way. Providing them with some cool "journals" or "diaries" would be an excellent way for them to practice authentic writing.

These fifth graders really crack me up a lot of the times. One young lady said, "Mrs. Scheivelhud, after the writing test, will we have writing anymore?" They are so sweet and innocent. I would love to take them on a fun and exciting writing journey after this writing test that they have worked so hard towards.

I have really loved teaching fifth grade more than I ever could have imagined. I see beautiful every single day through the eyes, words, and attitudes of the young minds that walk through my door. I take my job as a teacher very seriously, so I try to hep them to see that they ARE beautiful everyday." 

5. Carole Felton, Georgia, USA

Carole writes, 
"B-Beautiful children
E-Engaged in authentic learning
A-Always eager to please the teacher
U-Unbelievable thirst for knowledge
F-Friendly towards classmates
U-United with education
L-Loves to read nonfiction stories"

6. Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Georgia, USA


My students will soon have students of their own. They are preparing to be middle and high school teachers, amidst a climate that tells them, too often, that teaching is an easy profession, one that is not worthwhile, and one that is to blame for all of society's problems. But my students know better. They know that teachers are merely one part of a system and that it really does "take a village." But this does not stop them or change the tremendous sense of responsibility they feel for helping all children reach their highest potential. My students are beautiful because, despite all the obstacles and challenges in their way and despite recent policies and practices that seek to disempower educators, they strive to be strong pedagogues and caring, generous agents of change for urban schools and students. Because of their joy, energy, curiosity, and passion, I am better able to see the hope and possibility in education today... to see beautiful.

If I were chosen to receive $100 for my students, I would give it to the class and let them decide to which educational charity or non-profit they would like to donate in our class' name. Currently, they are working with Foreverfamily, a non-profit after school and prison visitation program for Atlanta children of incarcerated parents. I suspect they may choose to donate to Foreverfamily because of the beauty they have witnessed in the children there. However, whatever donation recipient they choose, I know they will appreciate the opportunity to "pay it forward" and help children in need."

7. Lindsay McCollum, Vienna, Austria

Lindsay writes, "Teaching is the most BEAUTIFUL profession! Teachers are constantly surrounded by beautiful moments with their students. One just moment that happened today occurred in our science class with my clever 3rd graders. In preparation for our upcoming Science Fair, I was introducing the idea of the scientific method to my children. I shared how this method is a process and, as good scientists, we will be following this process to ask a question, conduct an experiment and draw a general conclusion. At this point, the children turned to their neighbors and made "ooh" and "aah" sounds describing their excitement about experimentation. In the mix of these oohs and aahs, I overheard a student say, "Cool! The scientific muffin!" I said, "Wait a minute everyone! What?! [Student's Name], what did you just say?" He went on, "I just said, 'The scientific muffin'." I said, "Oh, no. It's not the scientific muffin. It's the scientific method." I then drew a picture of a muffin and wrote "muffin" under it and crossed it out. Next to it, I wrote slowly as I said aloud, "scientific method." The students all giggled and repeated aloud with me "scientific method." We said this aloud about 5 times. Although, we called it the "scientific muffin" throughout the rest of the day (as I'm sure we will throughout the rest of the year.) It was a beautiful teaching/learning moment and one that I hope the children will never forget. I imagine that we'll all remember the scientific muffin for the rest of our lives!

With regards to the $100, I could use this money in my classroom in a million different ways. First, and most necessary for my students, I'll buy books for our room! Through a variety of appropriately leveled books, my students will have access to seeing more beautiful in the world!

Thanks, See Beautiful, for recognizing the beauty in teaching!"

8.  Kathy Boccia, Tennessee, USA

Kathy writes, "I see beautiful in my students when they serve as greeters each day, welcoming everyone to school with a warm smile a cheery "Good morning!" .... when they proudly display their creativity in the hallways... when they laugh as they play with each other at recess... when they reverently pray at our weekly Mass... when they offer kind words and a hug to a classmate... when they persevere through the challenges that are placed before them... when they joyfully exclaim "Oh! Now I get it!" ...when they snuggle on pillows in a cozy nook in their classroom quietly reading a book...when they demonstrate how to be a true athlete by winning humbly and losing graciously...when they chose to be role models for the younger children...when they offer their time, talent and treasure to be of service to the community...when they allow themselves to be the ears, hands, words and arms of God. I would use the $100 to stencil inspirational quotes on the walls of our school - leaving a legacy of "beautiful" for all to see!"

We will use to randomly select 2 winners this week. These two winners will be announced on See Beautiful's Facebook page (at 5 PM EST) and the two winners will be contacted immediately via email. 

If you're a teacher, or know a teacher who might be interested in submitting her/his name for next week, click HERE to learn how easy-breezy it is for you to enter. We have 8 more teachers who will win $100 each throughout the month of March, so join in!!  
This Friday is the See Beautiful Hop. Here's the code for the hop.


  1. Beautiful deed. My mom used to teach and totally understand and relate to these teachers. Happy Seeing Beauty. Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  2. That is a whole lot of beautiful teachers!! And what a beautiful way to honor them. Enjoyed every single one, can't wait to read more.

  3. What a wonderful and generous idea...just beautiful!...:)JP


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