Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mooch of Dimes

The school district is now promoting for parents to donate money to this district-wide fund that will distribute innovation grants to teachers. No biggie, right? I mean I’ve applied for a couple in the past and gotten them. They help.

I do have a problem though with how they are now promoting it. They’re asking parents to donate in teacher’s names in lieu of giving a gift to a teacher at the end of the year. As you might know, I’m not too big on the whole teacher gift thing in the first place. Like many gift giving scenarios I find them to be forced. Honestly, a sincere letter of thanks can never be replaced by a trinket or gift card. With that said, I’m not too crazy about the district suggesting that they should get the money of a gift intended for a teacher so that s/he can compete for it with every other teacher. Honestly, I feel like a bully is trying to steal my lunch money.

If you don’t feel me, then I completely understand. I mean it looks like the district is trying to help teachers with some great ideas, right? Well, a couple of things:

First, let me emphasize the fact that teachers have to compete against one another for these grants. That’s a lot of work, people. Some great teachers with great ideas can’t go beyond, say, creating lesson plans, grading, modeling ethical standards, sponsoring a club, coaching two sports AND writing a detailed proposal for a project (that can’t interfere with the drill-and-kill mentality for standardized state testing, by the way) with a plan for evaluation. Can’t we just take away one hoop for the teachers?

Second, I could never, in good conscience give money to an institution that was financially irresponsible enough to get us in a hole.

I don’t know. I’m not sure if I’m making my point clear. Heck, I don’t know if there is even a point to make. Perhaps I’m just being too sensitive. Am I the only one?

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