Reasons why to donate to a teacher and how to donate to a teacher.

Teachers don’t merely stand in front of students, give lectures about educational topics, moderate discussions and then assign homework or proctor tests. They actually serve as the foundation of each student’s entire educational experience. They don’t just help to direct minds in a particular direction either: they seek to open up their students’ minds to a world of possibilities.

9 reasons to donate to a teacher

When teachers can do their jobs well, they lift up their students in some way and help them gain the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions about the next stage of their lives.

Yet, these educators often can’t perform their jobs as well as they’d like because they’re overworked, overextended and underfunded. Teachers often rely on donations and the kindness of parents, community members and even strangers to help them do their best work possible.

Consider these 9 reasons that you should donate to a teacher:

1. Local, state and federal financial resources often fall short

The current education system distributes money to schools from states who tap into their own budgets and funds they receive from the federal government. Schools must typically spend federal funds on specific projects and groups of students. Schools also receive money from local sources, including property taxes and donations.

Although it might seem like this is a lot of money floating around, other areas of local, state and federal governing often receive financial resources first, which means that schools usually see their budgets slashed every year.

2. Education comes at a high price tag

Schools need a lot of money to flourish. There are overhead expenses: school administrators need funds to keep the lights on, classrooms comfortable and buses running on time. Classroom expenses go beyond desks and chairs that can be used from year-to-year.

To keep up with changes in education and the world, school leaders need money to provide teacher training and certification courses; fund new office, classroom, cafeteria and other equipment; pay for building and property maintenance and repairs; and even cover fuel costs to run various school vehicles. With modern criminals targeting people both at schools and online, schools often need expensive security tech and even guards to protect the privacy and lives of teachers, other employees and students.

3. Education budgets don’t usually include field trips or projects

Many school district administrators expect staff members to come up with the money for anything that might be considered extracurricular activities. Field trips and teacher-developed projects don’t usually receive a lot of funding. Although field trips help broaden the mind of students, they’re not activities that occur on school property.

A teacher-developed project that enriches a student’s understanding of a class topic might be deemed unnecessary. For example, a botany teacher might be told that they can’t install a greenhouse in a small town school since they can still teach students about plants with potted ones or perhaps a quick walk around the nearby neighborhood.

4. Travel expenses for regional competitions fall by the wayside

Schools sometimes receive funding when students compete in sports, musical, academic and other competitions. Receiving positive recognition through competition wins also helps them to show that they’re valuable to the community, especially in small towns where a school is right on the edge of being shut down.

That said, students who win must then usually travel out of the region to compete at state and national levels. Administrators might agree to fund certain aspects of the trip, but not everything will be covered, including the transport of parents, extra fuel for tours of museums and other educational properties in competition regions, and meals, snacks or lodgings.

5. Proms and other events often require fundraisers

Anything deemed unnecessary to providing a basic education usually requires that teachers and students hold fundraisers. Typically, students must raise funds for proms, theater productions, band camps and sports equipment or uniforms. The most common fundraisers include on-campus student stores, candy or sub sales and the sale of promotional products branded with the school’s name and logo.

If a teacher wants a specific expert about a topic to come to their school and speak to students, especially if this expert charges a lot of money for speaking engagements, that teacher might have to pay for some or all of the speaker’s appearance.

6. Teachers sometimes provide extras to students in need

Many students don’t receive the support they need at home. They also don’t come to school with the supplies they need to have a top-notch education because their parents feel that schools should provide everything since they receive tax dollars. As a result, teachers often provide support to students in need above and beyond the norm. For example, a teacher might use their lunch hour to tutor a student who receives no homework help at home and struggles to participate in classes and achieve high scores on exams.

Teachers usually buy a large volume of school supplies every year out of their own pockets to not only cover the lack of budget funding for classroom items like desk and classroom calendars, sticky notes, art supplies and tape, but also supplies for children whose parents either don’t care to provide or can’t afford supplies like pencils, erasers, notebooks, markers, highlighters and even backpacks.

7. Educators often have to travel long distances

Teachers travel for educational purposes beyond field trips and competitions throughout the year even after the school year ends. In rural locations, a teacher might have to spend a lot of money just to go to work.

Teachers often have to travel to go to training seminars and other educational events. Teachers also cover any travel expenses related to traveling to stores, banks and other locations to get supplies for events like homecoming, prom and graduation. A teacher might travel back and forth to a local store several times in a day or weekend to pick up beverages to sell at sports events after they run out or event planning committee meals.

8. Teachers don’t stop when the bell rings

At the end of the day, teachers don’t get to just go home and relax with their loved ones. They often spend hours in the evening reviewing and grading homework, papers and exams. They also often use this time to create their lesson plans.

Teachers who live in poverty-stricken areas or bad neighborhoods often also provide mentor-ship to troubled students after hours at public locations like libraries and gyms. They might set up an after-school basketball league or art class. Some teachers join big brother and big sister programs and then spend time with individual students and groups after school during evenings and weekends.

9. The pay is not that great… or the benefits

Did you know that teachers in the United States typically make between $30,000 and $90,000 a year?

Most make only half or less of the maximum normal amount. Factors that affect their wages include geographic location, their education and the school type (i.e. public, private, charter, etc). Some teachers agree to fewer benefits with higher pay while others agree to the opposite. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten and elementary school teachers made only $57,100 on average and middle school teachers made only $61,040 on average in 2017. Ten per cent of these two types of teachers earned less than $40,000 a year. Keep in mind that these averages are pre-tax wages, which means that most teachers take home considerably less. That’s all the money they have to put toward their own cost of living let alone school expenses unless they have a second job or bring in additional funds through fundraisers.

Additionally, benefits are often the first thing reduced during budget cuts. Some teachers actually retire early so that they can continue to receive their benefits even if they don’t actually want to retire and stop teaching.

Summary of reasons to donate to a teacher

Teachers lift up society, and they help us to understand ourselves and the world. Donations spread awareness about the need for financial assistance and motivate others to act, so please donate to a teacher on Classful today.