When a teacher decided to share a picture of the chairs in her classroom on Facebook, she didn’t expect it to garner the level of attention it did. Laurissa Kovacs posted the image in hopes of showing the conditions that students had to endure while learning. And, just a week later, she received some surprise help.
Kovacs, an art teacher in Oklahoma, shared an image of a cracked and broken school chair, the sharp edges highlighted by the black cabinet behind it.
Teachers from across the state had been walking out of the classroom in hopes of securing higher pay and more funding for education, and Kovacs explained her reasoning for participating in the event.
“This is my fourth year teaching in Oklahoma and after taxes and insurance I take home $2,311 a month, $27,732 a year,” Kovacs wrote. “I could make 20 grand more by moving to Texas or Arkansas, and many teachers are going just that.”
“Oklahoma is losing qualified teachers every day,” she continued. “These kids deserve the opportunity of a great education but we cannot give them that if all our teachers are emergency certified or completely overworked.”
Kovacs shared information about your schedule, discussing how there were “way too many students for one class” and how she “had to cut back on the fun, ambitious, and exciting projects literally because there isn’t enough room on the table for 32 kids.”
“This chair, or cheek-pincher, is what my students have to sit on,” said Kovacs. “Most of the chairs in my room look like this. Once they get to this point it’s only a matter of time before the bottom goes completely out.”
“Today, a student actually carried his chair with him to sharpen his pencil because he got in early enough to get a good chair,” she continued. “I’ve gotten a few new students and had to throw bottom-less chair away so tomorrow I’m having to bring in a couple of folding chairs I have here at home.”
“These kids deserve so much better than this.”
Discussing the Facebook post with CNN, Kovacs stated, “At the end of the day, I felt like I needed people to see just a glimpse of the issues we face every day.”
The post was shared over 83,000 thousand times, and many commenters asked how they could help. She created an Amazon registry where people could purchase supplies for her classroom, including chairs, but she didn’t expect the response that was coming.
Over the course of five days, Kovacs has received approximately $44,000 worth of donated items in over 600 separate packages.
When asked what she’ll do with the supplies, Kovacs state, “My plans are to share, share, share!”
“I’m not the only one in my district who needs things,” she added, “so I’ll be sharing it all.”