Together, those first-year teachers are working to raise thousands of dollars, in a matter of days, to get their students the technology that could propel them to success.
DALLAS -- At Pleasant Grove Elementary School, Nicole Lawrence's second-grade class was busy tackling social studies assignments on Friday. Next door, Hein Phan's students were hard at work on a reading lesson.
The two first-year teachers say they are on a mission.
"I love kids, and education is very important to me," said Phan, 29, who teaches math and reading.
He said he and his colleague are on a unique mission to make sure Pleasant Grove's second graders have greater access to technology.
"Our students should be up to date with what goes on in the world," he said.
That is why, after a discussion on week ago, Phan and Lawrence say they decided to start separate GoFundMe accounts. Both teachers are using the online site to raise money to purchase tablets for each student in their classes. The devices, they hope, could help boost reading and math skills.
Teachers hope technology leads to success
"At this age, most kids are engaged in playing games, and playing those games, and they don't realize that they are learning math," Phan said. "It makes it that much simpler when they enjoy what they are learning."
Pleasant Grove Elementary is a school trying to turn things around academically. Principal Tremayna Thomas said, until recently, the campus was graded low-performing.
Principal Thomas said she supports the new teachers' efforts to help their children think outside the box.
"It's a great thing for our kids, and it shows that we actually have staff members here who go above and beyond," Thomas said.
Pleasant Grove does have computer labs that stay pretty busy with students. The teachers say the third, fourth, and fifth graders are already using tablets in classrooms.
Phan said he wants his second graders to stay ahead of the game. After one week online, he's already passed his $3,000 goal to purchase his tablets for his students.