Success Story: Mrs. Ramsey’s 4th Grade Class

Mrs. Ramsey is determined to see her 4th grade class succeed.  However, in a district where over 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, basic school supplies are out of reach for many of her students. In response, she covered the cost of those items out of her own pocket.

Classroom Success Story (1)

Teacher: Linda Ramsey

School: Draytonville Elementary School in Gaffney, South Carolina

Click here for Mrs. Ramsey’s classroom page.

“I’m always spending my own money, thousands of dollars a year on the classroom,” she said. When she found on Facebook, she thought she would give it a try. “I thought, if this will help me then I’ll do it. It’s been a lifesaver for me.”

Mrs. Ramsey’s class was adopted by two corporate sponsors – Office Depot and Coach. With the first round of funds she received she purchased the basic tools she needed like pens, notebooks, markers, and dry erase boards.

The impact on her students has been huge. “They’re able to be more organized because I’m able to supply them with things I couldn’t afford and they couldn’t afford,” she said.

One struggle Mrs. Ramsey faces is to engage her students, especially those that are struggling. She said she works hard to do whatever it takes to help them. That includes trying different ways online to share videos or lesson plans, incorporating a lot of energy or songs into the day, and staying late after school.

As a highly innovative teacher, donations provided Mrs. Ramsey with the support she needed to create exciting classroom experiences. Technology has been a huge factor in engaging her lower-level students with the reading support they need. The extra classroom funds have helped her purchase much-needed computer programs that her students love.

woman with child on computer
Mrs. Ramsey working closely with one of her students.

Mrs. Ramsey also spent their funds on a class pet, a bearded dragon named Gizmo.

“I’m always looking for a way to engage my students because sometimes just looking at books can be boring,” she said. With Gizmo as her muse, she was able to come up with math questions, science experiments, quizzes, and other innovative learning methods that excite her students.

a little girl holding a bearded dragon
A student with Gizmo, the bearded dragon.

Mrs. Ramsey has been teaching for eight years, but she began her teaching career after retiring from the corporate world. She was inspired to make such a drastic career change by her daughter who continues to teach high school math after 17 years.

At first, Mrs. Ramsey thought she would enjoy the administrative part more than actual teaching because she was so shy. However, teaching has forced her out of her shell.

“Whatever it takes, I’ll do,” she said. “I never feel like I can embarrass myself. I will do anything to get them to learn.”

Today, working directly with students is Mrs. Ramsey’s favorite part about her role as a teacher. She said releases the burden of worrying about her own finances so she can get back to teaching. That makes a world of difference, because when she focuses on the curriculum she can have a lot more of those special teaching moments.

“The second that the child goes, ‘Oh! I get it,’ it gives me chills!” she said. “It’s like eating banana pudding or riding a rollercoaster. It makes all the hard work worth it and you see the progress being made, you see the gains. You see the success. It’s just thrilling and there’s no other feeling like it. That sound of ‘Oh!’ is the most thrilling sound in the world.”

There are thousands of teachers just like Mrs. Ramsey waiting to be adopted. Click here to find them!

Do you have an awesome Classroom Success Story you would like to share with us? Please contact Program Coordinator Melissa Hruza at [email protected]!

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