TPS Teachers Create Wish Lists Of Classroom Pandemic Preparation Supplies

Wednesday, October 21st 2020, 9:50 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Okla. -

Some Tulsa Public Schools teachers are asking for help to fill their classrooms with protective supplies as students head back to the classroom.

Elementary school teachers are getting creative, making online wish lists with supplies like disposable masks, touchless hand sanitizer and even mini pencil sharpeners for each student. November 9 is the first day back for Pre-K and kindergarten students.

It's a lot of emotions for Arielle Bell who teaches 2nd grade at Kerr Elementary, knowing her kids will soon be back in class after the Tulsa Public Schools board decision.

"I felt my anxiety rise," Bell said. "The decision has been made so how are we going to make it as safe as possible."

Bell said ever since that decision, she's been thinking about little things she can do to make her classroom safe.

Bell created a wish list with things like face shields for her deaf kids to see her so they can read lips, plexiglass to divide desks, and even mini trash cans and pencil sharpeners to minimize the need for kids to get up from their desks.

"What are all the things my kids touch?" Bell said.

"This is the hardest but most rewarding job I've ever had in my life," said Brandy Clements, a 5th grade teacher at Dolores Huerta.

Clements also started a list online and is hopeful the community can come together and help.

"To say I'm not nervous would be a lie," Clements said.

Clements said she suffers from five autoimmune disorders and wants her classroom to be as safe as possible. She's already spread the desks six feet apart and has placed tape to encourage one-way walking.

She has things like individual science kits, disposable masks and touchless sanitizer on her wish list.

"It's a little creativity, a lot of stamina and it's not for the weak," Clements said.

"It's not just Tulsa Public Schools - it's the whole Tulsa community," Bell said.