One In A Million – March 2023: Jennifer Frick

OIAM-March-2023-1-1024x1024 (Jennifer)


One In A Million Feature Questions

Name:  Jennifer Frick

School:  Madrid Neighborhood School

Grade: Kindergarten

How long have you been a teacher? 

I have been teaching for 21 years.  All of my years have been in kindergarten in the Alhambra School District.

What made you get into the teaching profession?

I remember at a very young age I wanted to become a teacher.  I wanted to help children learn and achieve their dreams.

Who was your most inspirational teacher and why?

Ms. Evans was my most inspirational teacher because she believed in us.  She had high expectations and knew we all could learn.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges teachers in Arizona face right now?

Some of the biggest challenges right now is coming back from the COVID time of teaching.  It was extremely hard to teach online.  I also think having large class sizes make it difficult to reach all of our students.

How do these issues affect your day to day?

I have a small class this year.  Having a large class makes it difficult for teachers to reach all their students.  During COVID some kids struggled with getting on to their iPads and logging on which made it hard for them to keep up academically.

What does the $250 tax deduction for school supplies for teachers mean to you?

It is helpful, but I still spend a lot of my own money. I spent about $500-$1000 a year.

How are the expectations of becoming a teacher different from reality?

There is a lot on teachers’ plates.  They have meetings, afterschool activities and paperwork that needs to be done on top of teaching.  It is overwhelming for teachers to have to teach and also keep adding things to their plates.

Why do you think teachers burn out so quickly?

I think there is a lot of things teachers are responsible for.  It’s not just teaching.  Changing curriculum, pacing guides and adding other things on teachers’ plates is overwhelming for teachers.

What “fills your cup” when you’re running on empty?

My students help pick me up when I am running on empty.  They may say something super sweet or just look at me with that smile.

What are some of the most thoughtful and effective ways parents and the community can show gratitude?

When parents just write a note to me and tell me that their student is learning so much in my class.  During conferences when they say their child is telling them what they are learning daily.  It makes me super happy when they bring their kids to after school activities.

What is your wish for Arizona’s children?

My wish for Arizona’s children is to get the best education.  My hope is that they achieve all the dreams they have in life and to keep reaching for their dreams.

What additional support or supplies do you need in your classroom and who do people contact if they want to help out?  

We can always use pencils, white board markers, whiteboards.  The bigger items that are needed are horseshoe tables and desks.  You can reach out to the office staff at Madrid Neighborhood School.

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Growing the Tree

Million Dollar Teacher Tree was first developed in a classroom by students in a program called, Next Generation Service Corps at Arizona State University in December of 2017. These students were tasked by Lloyd Hopkins, founder of Million Dollar Teacher project with developing a project that can potentially become an integral part in helping MDTP achieve its mission. The group eventually developed the original prototype for Million Dollar Teacher Tree—a cutout dollar sign that would be placed in surrounding businesses near the partner school. The idea was pitched to staff members of MDTP during the last of their class, and the project was picked up by MDTP as a new pilot program for the organization. After many months of planning, the prototype was eventually revamped into what it is today, Million Dollar Teacher Tree.

Golden Apple

These apples are intended to provide any sort of Professional Development which, in turn, gifts them with key knowledge to add to their personal skill-set to better work with their students.

As educators, teachers are constantly looking to continually grow in their profession to not only learn how to better connect with their students, but to also make the learning experience much more exciting.

Suggested donation amount range: $10 – $100

Red Apple

These apples are designed to provide the typical day-to-day items in the classroom. Teachers spend can spend upwards of $1,000 out of pocket to have enough supplies yearlong for their students– to alleviate this, the Red Apples were created.

Everyday school supplies include; pencils, notebooks, crayons, hand sanitizer, etc.

Green Apple

These apples are intended to provide a big-ticket item for the teachers. These supplies are typically something that the teachers can use for more than one school year.

Examples include; a class-set of computers or new furniture for the classroom.

Suggested donation amount: $500+