‘It was obvious her heart behind this was ENORMOUS and pure’: Special education teacher’s homemade traveling coffee cart allows her students to ‘practice social skills, work through their shyness’

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“Meet my friend Shelby. This is her first year of teaching Life Skills (which includes students with significant cognitive impairment in conjunction with adaptive disabilities) at a high school just outside Houston. That’s really cool by itself. But here’s where it gets awesome.

Shelby came up with the brilliant idea of wanting to empower her students this year in some way that was meaningful and would outlast their time with her in the classroom. So, she started buying all of the things they would need to start a traveling coffee cart. This would allow her students to walk around to each of the teachers and staff in the school and take their orders and then deliver their coffee to them on Fridays. Most importantly, this would allow the students to practice their social skills, communication, working through their shyness, and even learning how to run a simple business by calculating their expenses and profits. They named their business ‘The Grizzly Bean.’

I was so impressed when I heard what Shelby was doing that I immediately reached out to her for more info. It was obvious that her heart behind this was ENORMOUS and pure. Not only was she putting a lot of her time and energy into this, but she was also self-funding the whole thing on a first-year teacher’s salary. We quickly made sure she was made whole on that front and encouraged her to keep dreaming big.

Her students have now been at this a couple weeks already, and she says they are absolutely loving it. It’s obviously a great teaching tool and one that will give them skills and lessons to carry far beyond this school year.

One of the coolest parts of this story is that Shelby has the goal of using some of the profits from her class’s coffee business to actually provide funds for another school to start the same project. Then they would do the same, and they would do the same, and so on and so forth. How cool is that?! That, my friends, is Disrupting for Good.

Please share this story as you see fit, and let Shelby know how much you appreciate her heart and courage and vision.”

Chris Field

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chris Field. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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