Room makeover helps teacher inspire students
Grant makes Spanish River High classroom inviting.
Believe in Your Selfie. Cell Phone Day Care. Reading Corner. Success in Reading.
These are the colorful messages that adorned Kelly Kayle-Gallon’s new classroom at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, as she opened the 2017-18 school year.
Things have come a long way for the Sharks reading teacher.
At the end of the school year, Kayle-Gallon moved into a classroom that had undergone construction. Drywall and dust dotted the spots where billboards and posters should welcome students.
“PEN helped me clean up the room, creating a new look and comfortable reading areas,” Kayle-Hallon said. “PEN has energized me, and the classroom makeover will inspire my students to learn.”
Professional Educators Network of Florida (PEN), a pro f e s s i onal or g a ni z a - tion providing development opportunities and legal support to teachers throughout t he s t a t e o f Fl o r i da, awarded a free classroom makeover to a Palm Beach County teacher. Kayle-Gallon was the recipient of the makeover, worth more than $1,000.
“I was delighted when PEN told me I had won the classroom makeover. I teach students who struggle with reading comprehension, so I want to offer them the most engaging and fun learning environment possible,” said Kayle-Gallon, also Department/Instructional leader at Spanish River, where she’s taught the last 19 years.
PEN asked members to explain in a few sentences why they deserved a makeover of their classroom at the end of June. In July, PEN board members selected a winner based on the teacher’s needs, experience and commitment to education. PEN notified Kayle-Gallon she won the makeover in mid-July and renovations were completed by the first week of August.
“Many people don’t realize it, but the average teacher spends $500 per year of his or her own money on class- room supplies,” Cathy DeMoisey, executive director of PEN, notes in a press release. “In addition to online classes, legal support and networking opportunities, PEN has given away thousands of dollars in makeovers and gift cards to our members. Our goal is to make Florida a better place for teachers to teach and students to learn.”
The makeover of KayleGal l o n’s c l a s s ro o m g ave her students flexible seating options, the 2017 Florida Teen Reads set , new library shelving, lighting, rugs and organization systems throughout the classroom.
PEN sponsored the classroom makeover, with Home Depot donating paint and wood for storage and seating.
The school’s principal, William Latson, donated a large wall stencil of the school’s mascot, the shark. Volunteers helped paint and assemble items for the classroom.
“The feeling, according to the students, is cozy,” KayleGallon said. “They have been able to easily access materials from the desk bins.
The organized classroom library offers students a variety of books to read, and the comfortable seating is an inviting place to read.
“The cell phone ‘day care’ showed them that I appreciate their need for technology, but I will not allow them to be distracted during instructional time,” Kayle-Gallon said. “The makeover unwritten by PEN Florida really e ner g i z e d me. Al t hough each new year is exciting, this project added the extra push to organize, update and make my new room a place the students want to call their own.”
Last summer, PEN updated the books in a classroom library in Hernando County. PEN plans to offer the classroom makeover contest in other Florida counties in the future.
“At PEN, we want to support our teachers in as many ways as possible,” said DeMoisey. “We value each of our members and are proud to support educators across the state of Florida. “Our goal is to give back to the teachers who give so much to their students. Our children are the future of the Sunshine State.”
PEN has been supporting Florida teachers for more than 20 years. PEN offers professional development, legal support and protection and networking opportunities via online groups and in-person meetings. PEN membership costs $18 per month for teachers and $13 per month for support personnel, teacher aides and some other school staff members. Student and retired teachers can join PEN for $20 per year. To learn more, visit penfl.org.
Spanish River High School teacher Kelly Kayle-Gallon stands in her renovated classroom. The Professional Educators Network (PEN) of Florida awarded her the renovations, worth more than $1,000. “PEN has energized me, and the classroom makeover will...
Kayle-Gallon moved into a classroom that had undergone construction. Drywall and dust dotted the spots where billboards and posters should welcome students.