Celebrity Instagram Challenge
October 2nd was an exciting day for YES Prep North Forest 8th grade math teacher Bill Becker. That’s the day he learned that his Instagram direct message to famous actress Kristen Bell was chosen for her Celebrity Instagram Challenge #10featuredteachers.
This challenge calls for fans to send school supplies to teachers in need. As described by Bell herself, “Over the next 10 days, I will be picking a teacher each day, posting your story to my followers, so we all know what you need, and we can all help you get it.” Becker’s message and Amazon wish list was share with her 7.7 million followers.
Mr. Becker’s Message
In his message, Becker said, “Undeniably [teaching] has pushed me to my limits but the effort my kids put in everyday when I know the very real challenges they face outside of my classroom inspires me to go back in and work to better their future!”
Along with his story, Becker also shared his Amazon wish list that included items needed in his classroom such as highlighters and calculators. Previous challenge winners chosen by Bell have received truckloads of supplies.
Thanks to Bell’s support and her generous followers, Becker’s classroom began to receive numerous Amazon boxes. On October 9th, students from each of his class periods were excited to open boxes from the piles that stacked high at the back of his classroom. Among the items received were a printer, 15 TI-Nspire calculators, 80 white dry erase boards, and 108 binders. In total, Becker received a total of $7,714.30 in supplies for his students.
When asked what this opportunity meant to him, Becker responded, “Over the past week, I have been overcome with tears of joy and thanks due to the fact that strangers, most (if not all) I’ll never meet, took their hard-earned money and trusted in me to better the future of kids in a school far away from them. To have a stranger hope that strongly in what you’re doing is an incredibly humbling motivator in what is often a challenging profession.”
As for the impact this experience had on him personally… “I am incredibly privileged to work for a school district that sees the need for protection and inclusion of ALL identities. Sharing my identity in front of 7.7 million people online, though wildly terrifying, was a chance for me to be visible. It was a chance for me to make sure people I would never have met or seen otherwise would know the value of their Queerness and that we are never alone, no matter what protections you have or don’t have, because we are more than a community, we are a family.”
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