By Teachers, For Teachers
If you’re looking to use classroom management to change things up a bit but you don’t have the funds, don’t fret, there are ways that you can get the money without having to reach into your own pockets. Whether you want to purchase a class set of iPads or move your classroom management into the 21st century and purchase a standup table or desk, it is possible to get the classroom of your dreams. Here’s how.
Your first stop should be to the school board. Make sure that before you go, you talk with your principal first and let him know your intentions. Maybe he will even go with you and help sell your plea to the board. Make sure that you go to the board prepared: This means that you are armed with information about what you are asking for, why you need it, how it will benefit your classroom, and how much it will cost. Most of the time, the school board is very approachable, so don’t be afraid to go to their next meeting to present your case. They will be pleased to hear what you have to say, and most boards will do what it takes to help you out (as long as you have a good plea).
Your second stop should be to talk to the PTA (Parent-Teacher-Association). Oftentimes the PTA has separate funds that can help you get the supplies you are looking for. All you have to do is go to their next meeting with specific information about what you need (what the item is, why you need it, what it costs) and make a plea for why, and how it will benefit your students. Then you can discuss your intentions as a group, and hopefully they will offer you the funds so that you can get what you want for your classroom.
In this day and age, it’s easy to get what you want with just a few online clicks. There are numerous sites like Donors Choose, Adopt a Classroom, and Go Fund Me, where you can post what you are asking for and solicit donations from strangers. While this may seem like an unlikely way to get what you want for you classroom makeover, it’s actually is a very effective and efficient way to get the items that you need without even having to leave your chair. All you have to do is write a creative plea asking for what you need and why, and add some fantastic photos of your classroom and students, and you will start to see the donations roll in.
Teacher grants are an amazing way to find money for your classroom makeover. Whether you need money for alternative seating or want a few classroom computers, a teacher grant can help you. There are many places that you can look for a grant, from Lowe’s Toolbox for Education where your school can receive up to $5000, to the Stand Up Kids organization, whose goal is to have every public school have a standup desk within the next 10 years. Organizations like these want to help teachers, so you might as well give them a try. Here are a few more great organizations where you can try for a teacher grant.
Your own local community can be your saving grace. Local banks and/or organizations love to help give back to their community and will welcome the idea of helping you fund your classroom makeover. Small businesses often want to get their name on the map, and giving a large donation to a school can not only benefit you, but will benefit them as well. Your local newspaper can do a writeup on how the new local store in town just gave funds to help a classroom in need of an update to benefit student learning. It’s a win-win for all. Try posting on social media or spreading the word that you are need of a local donor. You never know who will be willing to help you.
Lastly, you can try and raise the money yourself. Start small and see how that goes first. For example, if you want a bunch of standup desks, try to raise money for just one desk or one table. Then, if you can show the community, the school board, or your local PTA or organizations that you have raised the money for your makeover, but it wasn’t enough, then you can ask for their help. This will only help your case when trying to fund the rest of the items that you need for your classroom.
Do you have any tricks or tips on how to get funds for your classroom? Please share your expertise in the comment section below, we would love to hear how you get your supplies funded.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.