Grant writing is not for the faint of heart. Teachers are loathe to make an attempt to fund projects, even great innovative projects, because it involves spending several hours writing with what may be a small chance for success. Big risks with small chance of reward is the land of the entrepreneur. Teachers already have a full-time job. So education grants are usually written and awarded to schools with well staffed district office personnel who are following through on the vision of upper management. Sometimes this aligns with and supports what is happening at the classroom level, often it does not. It is the rare teacher who prefers not to sleep and will write his own grants.
A new trend in education funding is beginning to change this. Crowdsourcing funding for projects. Organizations like DonorsChoose, AdoptAClassroom, TeacherWishLists, and ILoveSchools provide a channel for teachers to seek the funding they need for the projects that will surely work because it is the teacher herself that hatched the idea and will incubate it as if it were her own chick. Each of these organizations provides a very simple interface for the teacher that asks for little more than where she teaches and what she needs.
If you need a good cry, comb some of the lists and you will see items like paper and pens. My list is a bit more ambitious. If you are curious you can find it at TeacherWishLists.com Just sayin’ 😉
Shout out to EdSurge for reminding me of this growing trend.