Sunday, April 24, 2011
Why Some Teachers Don't Like Elementary School Fundraisers...
I've been giving some thought to elementary school fundraising as it relates to teachers. I wonder why there are schools where teachers support fundraising and teachers where fundraising is shunned.
I want to get into this in depth, however, today I think maybe just a few introductory thoughts would suffice. This way, I can flesh out my thoughts as we go along here. Yep, it's true that as I write this, I have no real conclusion or clear purpose. I just want to explore some dynamics for a moment.
I realize now that that teachers don't necessarily judge a fundraiser based on it's own merits. It's not a certain type of fundraiser, product or service teachers don't like. Teachers, by and large, are not being critical based on fundraiser profit margins, product type, incentives or participation rates or how students feel about the fundraisers.
I guess the short way to say this is that teachers don't hate the fundraiser, regardless of what it is. What they don't like is the interruption of it all.
In the schools where teachers are more likely to resist fundraising efforts, I believe other factors are at play. Here are a few reasons that come to mind:
• Teachers and parents are not working as a team.
• Teachers and principal/administrators are not working as a team.
• Teachers resist things that threaten their ability to accomplish their goals.
• Teachers not placing strong relationship with parents as a high priority.
There are certainly many who care enough or have the interest to involve themselves in the school fundraising and there are a lot of teachers across the country that pledge their support regularly and without reservation. This post is about schools that do not get support and why.
Here it is... Teachers need to have a remarkable bond with the parents of kids in their class. Anything that interferes with that will be resisted.
I don't believe that teachers should be hosting their own fundraisers regardless of the fundraiser. I encourage teachers to ask classroom parents to supply items or cash to purchase items directly when the need arises. The reason is that this encourages parents involvement inside the classroom, even if it is only providing some cardboard boxes for a project or paying for some posterboard.
Teachers would very likely be all-in on school fundraising efforts if one of the following two things were true:
1) The faculty and administration at the school put a high level of importance on the relationship between teacher and parent. If unobstructed, teachers and parents will work together diligently on education. When this relationship is hindered or threatened, I believe teachers will react by not supporting the choices of the administration and I believe parents will remove themselves from the education process so some degree.
2) Interruptions need to be minimal and important. I believe teachers when they tell me that fundraising in their schools is non-stop but it shouldn't be. A good fundraiser, made important through the involvement of the principal and staff, can be the only fundraiser of the year. If fundraising is constant, this relationship above is threatened. After all, if a parent gives to the fundraiser, did they do their part? If they did, then will they be volunteering in the classroom or do they feel they have done what they need to do?
So, I leave you with this...
Less is more and more important is the way to go! By supporting the relationship between parent and teacher, education is better. By hindering this process, teachers rebel and less money is raised.
Ok, Until next time!
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elementary school fundraising