Innovative Teacher Receives Life-Changing Gift

Innovative Teacher Receives Life-Changing Gift

November 20, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


OK, so I just found a letter
that Ellen left for me. All right. Dear Wanda, it’s
Ellen Degeneres. [LAUGHTER] Hope everything is going well. I’m sure you’re doing great. I wanted to tell you about
someone in the audience today. She’s a first year teacher
from Birmingham, Alabama who goes above and
beyond for her students. I love surprising
people on my show and I think you should
surprise her today. Just say her name and
she’ll freak out, I promise. It’ll be fun. PS, don’t drink my tequila. [LAUGHTER] OK, where is Jasmine Merlette? Come on down here. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING] [CRYING] This is not happening. Here you go. Oh, my god. It’s all right. Hi. Calm down. You’re OK. You’re excited, huh? Now, I recognize you because
you have a viral video. You’re a teacher, and you have a
viral video with your students. Yes, ma’am. Right? I don’t know if you
guys have seen it. Let’s take a look at it. Oh, wow. [APPLAUSE] That’s amazing. That’s incredible. Over 12 million views. Over 12 million views. So why did you make the video? So can y’all hear me? So when one of my
students, she came to me, she was really nervous
about her state test. So the thing is, everything
we do in the classroom is preparing for our state
test at the end of the year. So I was like, hold up,
like, you have no reason to be worried, nothing to fear,
like, we’ve been practicing all year, you got this. So my class and I, we came up
with the lyrics and the video y’all see is literally them
before they took the state test. Oh, wow. That was our energy
going in there. So how did they do? They did amazing. That’s great. They did amazing. [APPLAUSE] Yeah. That’s great. And tell us about
some of your students? Like they come from some pretty
rough backgrounds, right? Yeah, so Sun Valley
Elementary School is a Title I elementary school. So we serve communities
that are low income. So there are a lot of
different home life situations that come into my classroom. But that’s why I make sure
that my classroom knows when we come in here,
it doesn’t matter what’s going on out there. We came here to learn,
we’re going to do this. We got this and we are
not our circumstance. We can do this. We can learn, we can do this. That’s great. And this is your
first year teaching? Yes, ma’am. They haven’t stamped you yet. Literally, it’s my first year. [APPLAUSE] That’s great. Your first year of teaching. And can you tell us
about the program? Yes, so I’m a part
of Teach for America. And basically, the mission
for Teach for America is that one day,
all children will be able to attain an
excellent education. No matter what. So I love their
mission and I just wanted to be a part of
the work that’s already being done from
all the educators, from all the community members,
everyone in the classroom, out of the classroom. If you’re supporting a
classroom or a school, I just wanted to help
be a part of that. That’s great. [APPLAUSE] That’s awesome. Yeah, I love teachers. Thank you. I do, I love teachers. And I have a lot of
friends who are teachers. And I know the plight of
teachers, a lot of you, you come out of
your pocket to pay for supplies and everything. Yes, ma’am. Yeah, I know that. And so I have a gift for you. I wanted to give you something. [LAUGHTER] Oh, my god. I got this scratch-off here. Oh, time out. [LAUGHTER] Let’s do it. Yeah, and let’s see
how that works for you. Hopefully, you know, you
win something big there. Just go ahead and
get to scratching. Oh, see you like to go– I go willy nilly. I just– Am I doing it right? Yeah, it’s just scratch. That’s about all you do. Just scratch and see
if anything matches up. Anything matches up? Well, wait a minute, I think– how many you need? You just need two, right? OK. OK, look you won $3.00. Hey! Turn up! [APPLAUSE] Turn up? Yes, turn up. Look at that. You got $3 right there. But you know, that’s
all I have to give you. [LAUGHTER] And I will take it. But you know what,
but we’re lucky, because Ellen has some
friends at Shutterfly and they love how you’re making
a difference in your students. And they want to give
you a check for $10,000. [APPLAUSE] Well-deserved. Well-deserved. We’ll be right back.