There are so many reasons to love education.
Watching students grow both academically and socially.
Collaborating with colleagues on fun and innovative projects that just make you beyond excited to be a teacher.
My time as a classroom teacher are some of my most favorite memories hands down.
But to keep it real with everyone, there are some problems educators deal with, and funding for teachers and their classroom is right near the top.
I felt it as a teacher. We were given a couple hundred dollars each and that was our classroom budget for the year. I’d send home a ‘wish list’ for supplies, books and other items and parents would do their best to donate when they could.
Then I became a Principal and the budget really became clear to me. Or maybe I should say, lack of a budget.
When you’re a brand new Principal, you pretty much inherit a budget that was made the year before from whoever was Principal.
You see what your predecessor spent money on and just kind of have to deal with it. Teachers come to you asking for different things.
Books for their classroom libraries.
Money for a field trip.
Can they purchase a software license to support math stations in their classroom.
Extra iPads and Chromebooks to help engage their students in learning.
And in so many of those cases, the money just isn’t there.
Teachers get the same answer – NO.
You can complain about something, but complaining is not a strategy. I’ve always preferred an action oriented approach, let’s find a way and make this happen.
Every problem has a solution, it’s all how you look at and attack the problem.
Donors Choose is a grant writing non-profit that started in New York by a teacher (Charles Best) who was trying to get supplies and materials for his class.
Instead of just telling my teachers about Donors Choose.
We looked at it together.
We formed a plan together.
We wrote grants together.
We talked about books and science materials and musical instruments and PE supplies – together.
We shared the grants on social media – and it was absolutely magical.
There’s a problem.
Schools and teachers don’t have enough money to adequately support their classrooms, and right now in 2020, state and district budgets are being hit even harder with decreased funding.
I know I’m making this sound really easy.
Figure out what you need for your classroom.
Write a grant and get funded.
And it’s magic.
It’s harder than that. We learned many things over the course of the years. What to do and what not to do. The road isn’t straight, it’s not flat and it’s not smooth.
It can however be pretty awesome if you’re willing to try and you know how to write a bangin’ Donors Choose grant and get it funded.
Keep an eye out for my next post dropping in a few days – The Three Biggest Mistakes We Made With Donors Choose and What We Learned From Them.
Keep crushing it for kids and take care of yourself and your family.