Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

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(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Open Guitar Case

San Diego, CA


I spent the day today with people whose primary function is to give away money.  (No, not the federal government.)  It’s an organization of small, mostly family-based, foundations whose philanthropic interests include education.  I was there to kick off the day with an overview of public education from a teacher’s perspective.  I left my guitar case open, but no big tips.


Grant writing and seeking out private donations has never been a forte of mine, but I wish it were something at which I was better.  Many districts have a full-time person devoted to the task.


Today we visited a charter school in a rough San Diego neighborhood where they had a young woman whose primary job was seeking out funding.  They were able to hire an additional four teachers at their middle school, which has undergone a major transition in the past few years since it went charter.  I had a few mixed feelings about the school, but clearly it has made huge improvements not only in the lives of it’s students, but in the community, as well.


The changes are not directly related to the money they’ve raised, they’re more structural, systematic, and cultural.  But a little extra dough can certainly help.


[On a similar theme, it looks like I’m finally going to get paid for last summer.  I guess the open guitar case finally worked.]


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