Leaves Are Falling....
Fall Blog 2019
We hope all of you enjoyed your summer and were able to slow the pace down a bit so that you could restore your “operating systems.” Every school year comes with new challenges and with old familiar ones as well. As teachers, we hope our students will enter our classrooms with a willingness to learn AND participate in that endeavor, while students, no matter what age, are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Yes, the social scene looms large for students, however, there is a lot of learning to do over the next school year and we hope all of you will embrace the opportunity to not only expand the growing minds of your pupils, but also embrace the opportunities that abound for your own growth as an educator.
What Have We Been Up To?
During the summer break, The Wright Stuff Chicks performed a classroom makeover for Alex Bricker of Collierville, Tennessee. Here’s what Alex had to say about this exciting experience! “This will be my fourth-year teaching and I have a feeling it’s going to be the best year yet!! For the first time, I get to start the school year off without the stress of unpacking, rearranging and organizing my classroom materials. This could not have been possible without this incredible giveaway from The Wright Stuff Chics who gifted one lucky teacher (me!) the services of The Home Edit, a Nugget Comfort couch and even sweetened the deal with a generous gift card from Hand2Mind. The Home Edit is known for their meticulous attention to detail and carefully considered classroom systems that go into every project. I had the pleasure of working closely with the talented Shaina and Emily as they went to work to beautify my classroom. They have an eye for making any space more functional…even for a teacher! I am proud to be the first recipient of this amazing gift and my colleagues have commented that this room has become an inspiration for them and assured me that I am deserving of this gift. I cannot thank Lisa Dunnigan with The Wright Stuff Chics enough for this incredibly gracious donation of time, merchandise and caring. The generosity of this organization has touched me so deeply and has inspired me to pay it forward in some fashion. Lisa and The Wright Stuff Chics are educators too and they know the hardships we face and the need for us all to care for our teaching community!” Lisa says, “ We are thrilled that Alex not only received this wonderful gift, but that our efforts inspired her (and her fellow teachers) to pay it forward.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Pink Santa Hat Spotlight – Meet Patty Knowles
The Wright Stuff Chics is the parent organization for The Pink Santa Hat and we work hard all year to raise funds to host eight to ten teachers from around the country who are battling breast cancer, for our annual, all-expenses paid weekend of pampering, here in Atlanta. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we are spotlighting one of our Pink Santa Hat recipients, Patty Knowles, who shares her story with us here. We hope her story will inspire you to take care of your own breast health on a regular basis.
Patty teaches 8th grade and when she was first diagnosed with Stage 3A ER/PR+ Invasive Ductal Carcinoma breast cancer, she talked to her students about the yearlong process of treatment she would undergo, including information about PET scans, chemotherapy and radiation. Because she knew that some of her students were likely experiencing a breast cancer diagnosis of a parent or close family member, she delivered a message of hope rather than doom. Patty also shared every step of her cancer journey on social media and her story inspired a distant educator “relative” (whom she has never met) to submit her name for the Pink Santa Hat weekend and she was one of the lucky chosen!
Patty’s teenage son was her inspiration and her main source of strength in battling her disease, especially as a single mother, but her students were “with me every step of the way” and were instrumental in keeping her outlook positive. “My strong faith was another source of power that fueled my determination, in fact, my Pastor was instrumental in supporting me any my son, even checking on him daily at school. As a single mom, that truly gave me peace of mind.”
Aware of their teacher’s immune deficiencies during treatment, the students were careful not to expose Patty to illness, especially after the Adriamycin or “Red Devil,” which are the first four treatments which often makes patients very ill and can cause hair loss. Initially, chemo sessions were on a Thursday and Patty would be out until Monday. She says, “Thanks to digital learning, I was able to keep up my lesson plans.” But it didn’t take long before this dedicated teacher was having treatments in the morning and back at school in the afternoon. Patty had skipped her mammogram for two years and even when she was diagnosed, she never felt anything alarming. She now speaks about breast health as often as she can and was a presenter at The National State Teachers of the Year Conference recently where she urged her fellow educators to “never skip your mammogram!”
For Patty Knowles and all the other grateful recipients of The Pink Santa Hat weekend, being cared for in this way is a gift they will cherish for the rest of their lives. “From massages to pink slippers and getting personal bra fittings, I’ve never felt so special. I was cared for by total strangers and fellow educators and we will all remain connected. The Wright Stuff Chics were so generous, they even covered the cost of my best friend who came with me.” Patty was so moved by the outpouring of love and support from her hosts, that this year, she will attend the Pink Santa Hat weekend on her own dime to support the cause! Patty says she gives thanks every day for being a survivor and for all the support she received from her family, friends, students, fellow teachers and The Wright Stuff Chics!
Thank you Patty for sharing your amazing story with us!
Shop to Support the Cause
Giving back is what we’re all about. The Wright Stuff Chics on-line store supports our Pink Santa Hat Movement. If you have a loved one who has had to endure this despicable illness, you know all too well the strength and endurance it takes to fight toward wellness. If you’ve never visited our shop, please take a moment to drop in. We know that teachers have a BIG job and there’s not a lot of time to shop, but The Wright Stuff Chics have you covered, literally! Our stylish graphic tees make dressing for the job easy and teachers love our classroom posters and holiday ornaments. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for that perfect gift (we have the gifts you want to give AND receive) we are only a click away! The holidays are just around the corner so drop in at your convenience and start your shopping early! https://thewrightstuffchics.com/
Teach Your Heart Out!
As we all kick off the start of another school year, The Wright Stuff Chics wants you to know that we have your back and hope each of you has a memorable and safe year. We want to remind everyone that even when the going gets tough to always try to TEACH YOUR HEART OUT!! This is our motto and we hope you will adopt it as your own. Please check our u-tube channel for upcoming Teach Your Heart Out events. (We will be featuring Teach Your Out in next month’s blog.)
Visit Us on U-Tube
For information on our organization or past/upcoming events, check us out on U-Tube.
The Wright Stuff Chics - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g9bmAAgzYw
Teach Your Heart Out Conferences - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKOy_EUTj4c
Teach Your Heart Out Cruise Conference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5RvlWzF07M
We’re all in this together and as always, your support is much appreciated!!
Tosha, Lisa and ...The Wright Stuff Chics
“One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” Malala Yousafrzai (teen who became an international symbol of peace around the world and inspired thousands.)