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must haves 1 10 2 4 8 12 7 13 3 5 6 9 11 14 *CAS/MAT ’12, kindergarten teacher at Stanton Elementary School, Washington, D.C. 1. I’m mindful of what I eat. Love Crunch’s chocolate and red berries granola and Califia Farms Café Latte with almond milk keep me going. 2. I was a member of Zeta Phi Beta at Howard University, a historically black Greek organization. I’m involved in the alumni chapter, and I’m still very close with my line sisters, many of whom are teachers in the D.C. area. 4. I enjoy thrift shopping. Value Village in Silver Spring, Maryland, is my favorite; everything’s 50 percent off on Mondays. I love seeing how many things I can get for $20. 5. I love teaching science and social studies. We’ve done units on chemistry and the polar region. The kids enjoyed learning about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black military aviators. 7. In a kindergarten classroom germs are everywhere! I use sanitizer to keep my hands clean and students safe and Bath and Body Works shea cashmere lotion to keep them soft. 8. Stanton is very invested in family engagement. We do at least two home visits a year, and I pick two superstar students of the day and either call the parents or send a note home. 11. I maintain a private blog for my students and their parents. I also share classroom ideas on my personal blog: 1humbleteacher.com. 12. I’m one of 20 CityBridge Education Innovation Fellows—a yearlong fellowship for D.C. teachers. We’re visiting schools in California and Detroit, then I’ll develop a blended, personalized-learning pilot program. 3. Reading is paramount in our classroom; it enables students to grow, learn, and travel in their minds. I read poems, textbooks, and storybooks everyday with the kids. 6. Stanton is very college-minded—it’s not a question of “if” for our students, it’s “where.” Classrooms are named for a college. Ours is Tuskegee University, a historically black college in Alabama. 9. I buy Goldfish crackers and animal crackers in bulk for the kids. 10. I started a fitness club for teachers. Five of us run the steps of the school. 13. Crayola has nothing on me: I have an array of writing utensils in my bag. 1 4 . I collect teacher pins. The kids always notice when I wear one. 48 AMERICAN MAGAZINE APRIL 2014