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Teacher Spotlight: Kathleen O'Hagan


Kathleen O'Hagan is a New York City teacher who has had more than 50 classroom projects funded through DonorsChoose.org. Check out our interview with Ms. O'Hagan to hear more about her first love - teaching!Kathleen, thank you so much for being involved in Teacher Appreciation Week. How long have you been teaching?Teaching is my second career but it has always been my first love.  For the last eight years I’ve been privileged to teach a large cross-section of New York City students, ages 9 to 16, who show me daily that they care about their future and that everyone has something to learn and something to share!Tell us about a project you’ve recently had funded through DonorsChoose.org.I recently had a proposal funded called Dynamic Writing.  The purpose of this proposal was to stimulate writing creativity by bringing a variety of paper resources to my writing center in my classroom.  Some of the materials arrived in a large paper remnant box that is affectionately called the “magic box” by the students and magic does indeed come from these resources!  My students were stunned and thrilled to receive such a variety of materials to work with in their writing.  As a result, they have published astounding pop-up books in a wide range of genres.  While they were publishing their texts, they painstakingly worked to choose paper that matched the “mood” and “theme” of their stories.  It was amazing to hear these literary terms in use as a result of paper resources.  They’ve also created amazing three dimensional museum pieces about the American Revolution in their roles as curators.  The funding of the Dynamic Writing proposal has far exceeded the original writing spark that I had hoped to kindle and it clearly illustrates how donors can help to make a huge difference in a classroom.In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we'd love to hear about your favorite teacher.My favorite teacher was Mrs. Bokar, my sixth grade teacher.  After I had exhausted all the books in our classroom and school library, Mrs. Bokar used her own public library card to take out books for me to read.  She challenged me to be my best and like so many students, I didn’t truly appreciate her efforts on my behalf until many years later when I realized all that nudging made me a stronger student and person.Thank you, Kathleen, for taking the time to tell us about yourself! To see Ms. O'Hagan's classroom projects, check out her teacher page.

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