I realized that teachers don’t ask for much because they’ve been living in a mindset of scarcity for most, if not all, of their teaching careers.
“We’re so grateful for whatever you can give us!”
“We don’t need anything else.”
“I don’t know what I could ask for.”
These are sentences I’ve heard from teachers as I’ve served in the PC Foundation. I’ve even heard them from principals and district leaders who are almost dumbstruck that we are asking them to let us help their schools.
Some people are so sheepish about asking us for anything it’s like they are apologizing! This is a mindset of scarcity. Education professionals often behave like they are on rations in wartime, squirreling away every ream of paper, every hole punch, and all the pencils they can find.
They can barely conceive of a world where someone is out here trying to give them all that they need. That hasn’t been their reality. They’ve had to spend literally hundreds of dollars each year on things for their classrooms. Then I come along and say, “let me pay for things for your classroom” and they look at my askance with untrustworthy eyes.
Can I really ask for books for my classroom?
Will the Foundation really fund some alternative seating?
Would I get to go to that training for whole brains next summer?
YES! YES! YES!
I want, no I need, our teachers to realize that we are trying to make their jobs easier in any way we can. We understand that funds are tight, but that shouldn’t mean their kids don’t get exactly what they need to grow and be ready for their next challenge.
I need our staff to abandon the scarcity mindset and adopt a mindset of abundance. They deserve the things we can provide them. They should not have to pay for items from their own pockets, especially when we have the money to help.
We granted over $25,000 in small amounts all over the district last year, but I know that’s just a drop in the bucket. We could do so much more if more people on our staff believed they really could get what they need.
Give us a shot this year, will you?