Professional Educators of Tennessee has awarded their first Donor’s Choose gift to teacher Mary-Owen Holmes. Ms. Holmes is an educator in the Maury County Public Schools. Her request was for “Listen to us! Headphones for Learning.” Her students assisted in making the popular educator with the selection.
Holmes, in conjunction with Maury County Public Schools, is actively working to transition to a problem-based learning (PBL) environment. Through PBL, students take ownership of their education and learn collaboration, critical thinking, communication skills, and creativity. A major component of PBL is the opportunity utilize student choice to collaborate and create content to communicate with others. “Listen to us! Headphones for Learning” will allow students to continue learning and growing as they create digital content and connect globally with other classrooms, cultures, and peoples.
Mary-Owen Holmes is a 7th grade social studies teacher at Spring Hill Middle School. In addition to teaching social studies, she also serves as an instructional coach for problem-based learning and technology integration. She is passionate about the impacts of technology and diversity within schools, and strives to ensure all students receive high-quality history and cultural education.
Holmes holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communications, as well as a M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning, and Leading from Lipscomb University. She is currently back at Lipscomb pursuing an Ed.S. in Technology Integration and will graduate in August 2017. Holmes is an alumni of the SCORE Tennessee Educator Fellowship program, as well as a member of the MCPS Tennessee Teacher Leader Network team. In the past, Holmes has also served as an item-reviewer for 6-7th grade Social Studies for TNReady. You can follow Holmes’ classroom on Twitter at @MsHolmesTeach.
Professional Educators of Tennessee has teamed up with AMBA (Association Member Benefits Advisors) to secure funding for Donor’s Choose. This partnership creates unique solutions for the benefit needs of our educators. Bo Carr from AMBA has worked very closely with us as we work to make this happen in the state. Carr stated: “Through the joint partnership, our intent is that many awards of this type will be forthcoming in the future.”
Teachers find themselves spending hundreds of dollars each year to equip their classrooms and provide students with the materials that they feel are necessary for successful learning. As an organization, Professional Educators of Tennessee has fought for increased amount of money through the BEP to assist teachers in equipping their classrooms.
“Although we realize all public schools can use extra funding, we want to see more money, public and private, going directly to teachers and their specific needs,” said Executive Director, JC Bowman. Members should apply for more opportunities through Donor’s Choose in the 2017-2018 school year.
## Bethany Bowman is the director of Professional Learning at the Professional Educators of Tennessee.