One of the biggest concerns teachers have is that they do not have enough materials to provide the kind of education their students deserve. They want to make classroom improvement a priority, but the district budget cannot fully fund their needs. Many teachers are finding that they have other options for getting the materials they need. Teachers everywhere are learning to find money through grants and crowdsourced funding. In fact, a great reason to earn a master’s degree for teachers is to understand the kind of research and information needed to secure grants for classroom improvement.
How Can a Grant Help Directly with Classroom Improvements?
Many teachers have found that outside funding is the way to control classroom improvements without relying on district budgets or answering to school board votes. Education World interviewed several teachers and found that many learned quickly how to find grants and write proposals to secure them. One teacher from Pennsylvania said, “The first grant I applied for was a Digital Grassroots Grant for $15,000.” Education World goes on to say that “The grant, awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, provided money for technology initiatives by classroom teachers.” She was teaching a multimedia class and used the money to buy a scanner, a laptop computer, digital cameras, and software. One of the great things about a master’s degree for teachers is that it grants teachers access to experts who can help with the research and rationale behind grant writing, which may fund technology, books, and even classroom furniture.
Learning to Write a Grant Proposal
Successful grant writers take the writing process slowly to give the proposal its best chances for success. Remember the three Ps: a project, a plan, and permission. It is always important to develop a working plan for what you want and whom you will ask for the money. Then, bring that plan to administrators to be sure you have permission to ask for the project funding. As soon as you have a classroom improvement project in mind, look for the following pieces, which need to be in any grant proposal:
- Background: document the need for your project with data
- Mission statement: identify the project’s potential outcome
- Goals and objectives: these should be specific and measurable
- Planned assessment tools: be specific
- Required materials, supplies, and personnel
- Total cost
What Happens After You Earn a Grant?
When you are notified that your grant proposal has succeeded, pat yourself on the back, and then write a thank you note explaining how this money is going to enable a number of classroom improvements to improve your students’ success. If you have a master’s degree for teachers, let the grantor know that a professional, knowledgeable teacher is using the money to its best advantage.
Where Can You Look for Grants?
Start by going to some great sites designed just for teachers:
- National Education Association
Getting a grant for classroom improvements can be a life-changing situation. When teachers realize that they can transform their own teaching lives through grant writing, they feel in control and self-sufficient. Many companies and individuals believe in teachers and education. They want to find professionals who know how to manage a grant and get things done. If you do earn a grant, make sure you tell everyone and share how you used it.
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