Meet 11 Teachers Creating Safe Spaces for All Students at School

In celebration of World Teacher's Day, E! News is highlighting teachers across the country who work hard to ensure their classroom is welcoming for all students.

By Mike Vulpo Oct 05, 2022 10:00 AMTags
Watch: Quinta Brunson "Feels Good" About Representing Teachers on TV

Never underestimate the power of a special classroom. 

Every morning, teachers arrive at school armed with lesson plans and activities in the hopes of keeping students engaged. But for many educators, the first step to a successful day of learning is building a safe classroom where every student feels motivated to do their best.  

"Students need to know they are seen and are part of this community," Los Angeles Unified School District third grade teacher Lucia Hernandez shared with E! News. "As a community, we all respect our learning styles and lean on each other in a safe environment when needed."

Many teachers across the country use their own money to create classrooms filled with supplies, decorations, inspiring posters and other necessities. But according to Lucia, who is a member of the Parents Supporting Teachers Facebook group, helping build special classrooms doesn't always come with a price tag.

"Parents can reach out and offer their time to support a classroom such as coming to read a book about the community the school is at or sharing their personal stories," she said. "It helps create that space and motivation for students to also share their own stories."

Do-Gooder Gallery

In celebration of World Teacher's Day on Oct. 5, E! News is spotlighting educators who go above and beyond to build a special home for students during the school day. Keep scrolling to meet more teachers who deserve an A-plus for the safe environment they've cultivated.

Alexia Perkins, 2nd Grade

"I build a classroom of inclusivity and diversity. I want every student to have a space where they can authentically be themselves and have their voices amplified. I see my students for the amazingly unique individuals they are. I hope my students experience genuine happiness and love while we are together in Perky Pupil Land (what I call my classroom)."

Hunter Nelson, Kindergarten

"Being in a school with very limited funding, students come from many different backgrounds. My hope as a teacher is that every student in my room feels loved and appreciated. I strive to give them experiences that they may not get opportunities to outside of school!"

Andrea Rosales, Teacher's Assistant

"I want my students who I work with today as a teacher assistant and my own students as a future bilingual teacher to experience how important it is to learn and get to know about Hispanic Heritage Month, how many Latinos inspired us and can inspire the future generations." 

Ashton Humphrey, Choir and Drama

"Although we work very hard and set high standards in my classes, students often have a sigh of relief and a smile on their face when they enter my room. I hope all students feel seen and loved for exactly who they are, no exceptions, no matter what."

Jamie Wilson, 2nd Grade

"I hope my students feel safe and loved when they are in my classroom! Our little class is a family and we are there to work together to grow." 

Samantha Johnson, Art

"I hope that my students find peace, freedom, and acceptance in a colorful, creative space. Mistakes are encouraged and each student is accepted for exactly who they are. I want them to enter my classroom and feel an overall sense of joy, enthusiasm, and endless messy artistic fun."

Jenny Lu, Intervention

"As an intervention teacher, I mainly work with students who need extra support. The students come to work with me for 30 minutes each time a few times a week. When they step into my room, I hope they always feel safe, comfortable and free to make mistakes. My goal when they leave my room is for every student to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment academically and emotionally."

Cassandra Mace, Autistic Support K-2

"When my students enter my classroom, I want them to feel safe and loved. Creating a positive environment and building relationships with my students is my number one priority."

Sabrinna Piasecki, Kindergarten

"We can't expect to shove standards at our students who struggle to self-regulate, identify and cope with their very own emotions. Life is a WHOLE LOT just that—emotions. Some of your students really need a space like this. The safe place is made into a HUGE deal in my class. We talk daily about how different friends need different things to help them learn and grow."

Cubby Sylestine, 3rd Grade Math

"When my students enter my classroom, I hope they feel a sense of inclusivity. This is something I was raised by, to treat everyone the same, with kindness."

Amanda Flores, Choir

"When my students enter the choir room, I want them to feel safe and look forward to making music every day! Our three main rules are to have fun, no judging each other or yourself and to not give up. We are a respectful community dedicated to growth in spirit and song!"

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