I was a teacher in the neighborhood for almost 10 years. A lot of the experience was a like a job, for sure, but it was essentially a calling. To be effective in a classroom up here, you really have to want to be there, you know? I have the utmost respect and admiration for the folks in the classrooms quietly doing the good work every day.
In every school, there are teachers who give an incredible amount of their own time and money to their classroom, above and beyond. There are also times when you see an amazing opportunity, when you recognize what tool or experience would be great for your students, but sadly know that the resources are just not available.
To help level the playing field, teachers are turning to online crowdfunding sources such as GoFundMe and Donors Choose. One of these teachers is Dan Case, a first grade teacher at George Mason Elementary, who has posted his own direct appeal to get more technology in his classroom:
I have served George Mason Elementary School for 5 years. Over 60% of my students last school year started the year below grade level for reading. I was able to narrow this percentage over the course of the year but there is much work left to be do. I had three students who increased their reading score by THREE levels. I want to achieve that success with more students.
I believe that my students deserve the best educational experience we can provide. You can help me move the needle more significantly by supporting this gofundme campaign. Your support will help me purchase a SMARTboard and mobile stand to help my students achieve excellence. I would be able to use this board throughout each school day to improve behaviors, increase learning and provide exciting brain breaks for my students.
DonorsChoose is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need, organized by city, district, and school:
Here’s how it works: Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.
When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You’ll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you’ll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students.
There are a number of projects in our area, many which are only a few hundred dollars short of success: