Academic journal article The Technology Teacher

Students Help a Teacher Called to Active Duty: What a Great Feeling to Have a Group of Students Who Are Excited and Want to Help a Teacher in Need So Many Miles from Home

Academic journal article The Technology Teacher

Students Help a Teacher Called to Active Duty: What a Great Feeling to Have a Group of Students Who Are Excited and Want to Help a Teacher in Need So Many Miles from Home

Article excerpt

My technology education students at Tecumseh Middle School were completing a design activity when I was notified that one of my former students from a Purdue class, Ryan Smith, was called to active military duty. Ryan was teaching technology education at Lafayette Jefferson High School when he was called by the military in the fall of 2004 to report to active duty. Before Christmas 2004, Ryan was sent to Iraq where he is now stationed at Camp Cedar.

A fellow Tecumseh Middle School technology educator's wife stated that military service personnel need items to occupy their time. Steven Schellenberger, my student teacher from Purdue, and I asked our first two classes what their thoughts were about helping a Jeff High School teacher who was called to Iraq. The first two classes were 100% in favor of helping. After some discussions, two types of games were to be produced. The next two classes were not asked if they wanted to make something for Mr. Smith, and some students asked why they couldn't help. What a great feeling to have a group of students who are excited and want to help a teacher in need so many miles from home.

With a few phone calls, local companies also wanted to help, and they donated materials to produce the games. They thought it was a fantastic idea that the younger generation wanted to help!

When the students completed the games (tee-hop and tic-tac-toe), I sent them to Mr. Smith. Ryan gave the games to other people in the service and to the children in Iraq. The students did not care who received the games, as both soldiers and civilians were in need.

Ryan's wife, Jennifer Smith, has been sending updates on what is happening with him to many people in the community. The information about the games, student excitement, and contact appeared on the IdeaGarden. From this sharing of information, Mr. Smith received many messages from ITEA members. It is our hope that this accomplishment will help Jennifer and Ryan get though his tour in Iraq, and encourage Ryan to return to Lafayette to teach our future leaders!

A letter from Ryan Smith, teacher and ITEA member:

Dear Mr. Yuill and students,

I would like to thank you all so much for putting your skills and effort to use in a noble way. I received the package of games about a week ago. …

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