Patricia Duffy - 2022
Fund A Teacher Recipient
Dear Alpha Beta Foundation,
My name is Patricia Duffy, and I am a fourth-year special education teacher at the Michael J. Petrides School. I am honored to have been nominated for your Fund A Teacher program by Lois Restrepo and Mary Ortiz. This year I am the special education teacher in an ICT Kindergarten classroom of 25 amazing children. I am incredibly grateful to have been awarded the Fund A Teacher stipend this year to better help my precious kiddos.
During my first-year teaching, the pandemic hit, and shut down schools. In the transition back to in-person learning, I noticed several areas that my kiddos needed extra help in. Two of the biggest areas of growth I have strived to focus on are: my students’ independence and self-direction in learning and in the classroom, and social-emotional learning and regulation. Using this stipend, I was able to enhance my classroom environment to support my students in these two areas specifically.
Thanks to the generous stipend of Delta Kappa Gamma, K022 at Petrides has been able to utilize color in our classroom to create a welcoming and productive classroom environment. Understanding that color can make a significant impact on how students behave in class, maintain focus, and retain information, and using the stipend, I was able to organize our classroom by color. My hope in doing so is to create a welcoming environment that is enticing to our kindergarten students. My co-teacher and I also utilize color to create independence in our students by matching subject materials to the classroom environment. This way, when students are working in a specific subject, they know which color to identify and which materials to utilize to create independence in the daily flow, control in their learning, and increased focus.
Using the stipend, I was able to purchase bulletin board borders and materials, colored card stock, laminating materials, adhesives, bins for centers, and several other supplies to create a classroom that is powered by color to create a student-led classroom. For example, at Petrides, we utilize the Eureka Math program, which has given us green workbooks. Therefore, all our math materials are green! Our math focus wall is highlighted in green. Our math centers are all stored in green bins. All student math materials are green. I implemented this organizational strategy for each individual subject taught throughout the day.
I was also able to utilize the stipend in creating a welcoming calm corner in our classroom. The calm corner is utilized each day in K022 by all students who need it. Students know that if they need a moment to breathe, a minute to label and regulate a big feeling, or even to enjoy the happiness of completing a task, they are welcome in the calm corner.
The K022 Classroom would not be the same without the generous support of the Alpha Beta Chapter. We send a huge thank you to the chapter every single day.
With deepest gratitude,
Patricia Duffy and the K022 Family