One Thing You Can Do to Give Back to Teachers

Okay, the deal is teachers in lots of schools never get a break, and that's often true in schools that serve military families, too. is about teachers getting the resources they need, and doing it right.

One really good way to give teachers a break is by donating through They're a great example of how we should all use the Net to help each other out, by pooling a few dollars to give people a break. DonorsChoose is something I can understand. It's like microfinance applied to classroom projects; we all can contribute a little to fund a classroom projects. Teachers are under-appreciated and underpaid, and if we all work together, we can help 'em out.

There're a lot of underfunded school districts out there, and it's real unfair for teachers to fund stuff from their own (inadequate) salaries. Note: I'm on the DonorsChoose board.

After I introduced Stephen Colbert to DonorsChoose, he began to focus on milfams, and I tried a similar effort later, but it didn't persist. However, I'm talking with people in milfam groups and the DoD about creating a program that'll keep on helping. And I did a matching campaign with DonorsChoose a couple of years ago.

I still fund teacher's projects on a regular basis, because I've learned that giving in this way really makes a difference. I've gotten a few notes from teachers, and here's what they've got to say:

Dear Craig Newmark,

It is with the deepest gratitude that I am writing this note. Thank you so very much for blessing my students and me by funding our project. I cannot wait to share the great news with my kiddos on Monday! Because of you, we will have stocked and functional math centers.

I have an exceptionally high number of students this year and appreciate your assistance more than words can possibly say. I'm excited to receive our supplies and be able to introduce new ways of learning math with more hands-on opportunities.

With gratitude,
Ms. Marshall

Having the supplies to teach should be a fundamental right, but it's not. It's our job to give back to the people who are educating generation after generation.

Dear Craig Newmark,

I can't fully express my joy, excitement, and thanks for your donation to my project. It is great to see that you share my vision for reaching children.

The Kindles that you have funded for my classroom will be used in math and listening centers. Technology is such a huge part of students lives these days, I thought it would be great to incorporate it in the classroom. I hope these Kindles will appeal to the various learning styles in my class.

I will be sharing these Kindles with three classes who rotate through my classroom. Thank you so much. I can't wait to introduce these tools to the children.

With gratitude,
Mrs. Mast

Tech is increasingly popular in classrooms around the world, and folks should have access to technology for learning.

Dear Craig Newmark,

What else can I say but thank you? Thank you for your generosity, thank you for your willingness to help out my students, thank you for providing opportunities for my military students to communicate with their deployed parents! We have been anxiously awaiting to see if this project would fund, and thanks to YOU, it did! I can't wait to tell my students on Monday morning that we will be getting our much-needed materials!

By having our new iPad and classroom instruments (including the new classroom keyboard on a stand), I will be able to record my students playing and singing. We will then be able to put those recordings on the blank CD's that you provided to send to my students' deployed parents. How wonderful that YOU facilitated bringing families together!

I am so very blessed to teach in a school with so many wonderful students; it is truly my joy to be able to give back to them! Thank you, again, for what you do for students through Donors Choose!

With gratitude,
Mrs. Peterson

Many of you know that I focus lots of my efforts on veterans and military families. Many of the students who need support in the classroom are kid of milfams. We need to make sure we're giving back to these families who give up so much for us. I figure it's the least I can do.

Beyond that, I want to increase DonorsChoose brand recognition and awareness of this kind of microfinance.

Beyond that, I want to spread the message that regular people can make a difference.

Can you give back? #respect4teachers