Teachers Ask, Community Gives.

The school year is coming to a close for many teachers, though, the stress and anxiety for the next school year has already begun. As teachers start to enjoy their shortened, needed summer breaks, they’re already planning in their heads what they’ll need for next year’s kiddos. People acknowledge that teachers are poorly paid, but many do not understand the scarce resources that many districts provide to their teachers.

At a charter school that I worked at, my friends bought my classroom lined paper so that students could have paper to use to complete their work. In all of the schools I worked at, access to the copier machine was a challenge. Teachers were limited on the number of copies they could make because of ‘budgetary reasons.’ Teachers were not allowed to even use the lamination machine because a teacher left it on and that ruined it for the entire staff. Many schools have outdated textbooks with interactive resources for classroom sizes of 10, meaning, teachers better use cooperative grouping if they want to reach ALL of their kids.

Anyway, teachers need help from their communities to fund their classrooms. It isn’t a surprise, though, when teachers spend their own paychecks on their students, classrooms, and schools, and, yet, still do not request help from parents and the public. There are websites that are great for helping teachers to fund school resources.

Classroom Giving is an organization where you can get involved. Teachers can post what they need and the public can help to fund those needs. Check their website out here: https://classroomgiving.org

When I was in the classroom, I used DonorsChoose.org, another great resource to help fund teacher resources. However, teachers need to know that materials funded belong to the school itself. The teacher will use the material funded, but if the teacher leaves the school, the principal has to sign off on letting the funded resources go with that teacher. It tends to get complicated.

“Materials funded through DonorsChoose.org are the property of the public school or Head Start center at which the teacher is employed when resources are shipped. The teacher who created the project is the sole steward of the donation while employed at the school, carrying out the project for which the materials were donated.” – DonorsChoose.org

When I worked at the charter school where my friends provided paper, I also used Donors Choose to fund a projector so that I could implement technology. My family actually funded the projector [through Donors Choose] and the projector was sent to the school in my name. The school received, opened, and inventoried my projector. Mind you, I had to create and get this funded through my own doing. When I left the school, I felt as though the projector belonged to me and should be used in my next educational environment. The school thought otherwise. It can become a messy transaction so be aware of that. My thoughts were, ‘If the school allocated funding to ensure best practices of student learning, I wouldn’t have to fund this projector [and other materials] myself. My friends wouldn’t have to buy my students paper! I did all the work and my awful school gets to keep it? But the CEO’s brother was the operations manger of the three schools in the network and drove a newer Mercedes and a Range Rover. Hmmm…”

I reached out to Classroom Giving to verify their OWNERSHIP POLICY and will update this when they respond to my request. This is a great opportunity for teachers and the community to come together to help fund classrooms and schools. Teachers, be cognizant of who owns the funded materials!

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