Xiomara Robinson walked into her third grade classroom on Monday February 28, 2022 thinking that it was going to be an ordinary day. Little did she know her team was keeping a secret from her and her students. Robinson was honored and surprised by Abbot Elementary showrunner Quinta Brunson. Abbot Elementary is a sitcom that focuses on a group of teachers in a Philadelphia school. The show is based on Brunson’s experience in a West Philadelphia school. Brunson presented Robinson with $20,000 worth of books from Scholastic and $40,000 from Wells Fargo for Comegys Elementary. The surprise was filmed and featured on Good Morning America.
Robinson is from Patterson, New Jersey but moved to Philadelphia to pursue new opportunities and experience the city’s rich culture and history. Robinson is a third grade teacher and she expressed her favorite part about teaching is her love for the kids and being able to support and guide them. She noted that it is important for youth to have adults they feel comfortable having important conversations with.
With the growing number of teachers leaving the classroom Robinson discussed the importance of self care and healthy coping mechanisms. She takes one day at a time and focuses on enjoying time with the kids and if it is a particularly hard day she will try something new. She stressed that it is important to remember that kids are humans too and it’s helpful to set expectations in the classroom.
Community support is critical for teachers and students. Robinson noted that teachers can be supported by simply being told they are appreciated and recognized. Guardians and mentors can help the young children in their lives understand that school is a priority and connect school to real life. It is also critical for officials to focus on funding for afterschool programs as Robinson says students who participate in afterschool activities do better in the classroom.
Thank you to Scholastic and Wells Fargo, Quinta Brunson and Good Morning America for taking the time to recognize such a passionate and dedicated teacher.