One In A Million: April 2023: Gabriela Buscher

April-OIAM-2023-1021x1024 (Gabriela Buscher)

                                                                            One In A Million Feature Questions

Name: Gabriela Buscher

School: Madrid Neighborhood School

Grade: First

How long have you been a teacher?

This is my 18th year.

What made you get into the teaching profession?
I have always loved working with children. I had great teachers growing up and I wanted to be able to give back to our communities by working with children as a teacher to give them the great opportunities that were given to me.

Who was your most inspirational teacher and why?
My most inspirational teacher was Ms. Graziano. She had a way of making learning fun and she made us feel important. When I was student teaching and working as a hostess at The Cheesecake Factory she came in and after all the years that had passed, she recognized me and still remembered my last name.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges teachers in Arizona face right now?
The budget cuts from the state affect the services, supplies and staff that are needed to provide additional support for students.

How do these issues affect your day to day?
We work with what we are provided and make it work in order to help our students be successful. We just need to be planned out on how to provide each student with any extra help that they may need.

What does the $250 tax deduction for school supplies for teachers mean to you?
It is definitely claimed but the reality is that the amount that we spend is a lot more than that.

How are the expectations of becoming a teacher different from reality?
While in college a lot of the scenarios are in a perfect classroom. You are not aware of all of the responsibilities that you will have once you start the profession. It is a very rewarding career but it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It is also a very emotional job because you are entrusted a new class every year and it is your responsibility to help each student reach their highest potential.

Why do you think teachers burn out so quickly?
I think they burn out quickly because of the workload. If you do not prioritize things by importance and pace yourself, trying to complete everything at the same time is draining. Society is also changing and student behavior has changed over the years, good classroom management is needed to deal with the changing times.

What “fills your cup” when you’re running on empty?
My students. When you see their eyes light up when they understand a concept we have been working on. A simple hug and a smile from them. Hearing them read and feeling so proud of themselves. Seeing their growth academically as well as the amazing person they are becoming from the beginning of the year until now. Seeing former students and their smiling faces.

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

With parents it’s attending school events, conferences, being involved in their child’s education. Being willing to work with me as a team to help their child be successful. It is nice when places in our community want to work with our school whether it’s donating school supplies, snacks for the staff or just reaching out to the school to say they support it and are willing to help if it is ever needed.

What is your wish for Arizona’s children?

My wish for Arizona children is that they are provided a well-rounded education that will allow them to be ready for college or whatever path they choose and be successful. My wish is that they feel empowered to set a goal and know that with hard work they will reach it.

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

The only supply that’s more of a want than a need would be a new class set of whiteboards for my students. I am grateful for any supplies that we have donated, it is all appreciated. My email is or the school number is 602-336-2280 ext. 4906.

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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+