In the “real world” some people get performance bonuses. You might have heard of these astronomical figures being given to C-suite individuals at the end of a quarter when they’ve helped the company reach a milestone in sales. It sounds really nice.
But we live in a different real world where teachers are paying for supplies out of their own pockets and making do with what they have. I wish it could be different. I’d like to institute a district-wide summer bonus to say thank you to teachers at the end of a long year where they’ve helped our children reach a milestone in education.
Wouldn’t it be nice. . . ?
Well, we were able to help make it happen for at least one school this year. Tulakes Elementary got to end the year with a huge surprise for teachers thanks to the generous staff at CBRE Oklahoma City. The company worked all year long collecting donations and holding fundraisers so that they could surprise the staff with cold hard cash! $150 for each person! The faces of these people revealed disbelief, shock, and joy. As we passed out the money, I asked each one of them what they planned to do with it. The first one said, “pay bills.” Another said they wanted to buy stuff for their classrooms, so I had to interrupt all the noise and tell them all NO! You cannot do something you already must do with this money. Have fun with at least part of it.
I am a fan of being fiscally responsible. You can look at the finances for the Putnam City Schools Foundation and see that, but there is a time when you need to let a gift be a gift. Paying bills is responsible and I get that we all have unexpected expenses, but I need these teachers to do something that will remind them why CBRE gave them this money in the first place.
I want them to get manicures, and every time they look at their nails for the next week remember how hard they worked to deserve such pretty hands. I want them to go on vacation and buy something frivolous that will remain in their closet for years shouting “you helped 25 children read on grade level!”
All our teachers work hard, pouring themselves into our students on a daily basis. Many of them go beyond the educational skills and teach life skills that children might not be getting at home. Don’t they deserve a nice dinner out for that?
It doesn’t take much to make these teachers feel appreciated. I bet the enthusiasm would have been the same had the gift been $100 or even $50. So maybe your business or family wants to adopt a school next year and give each teacher a holiday or summer bonus. We would LOVE for each school to have such a friend as CBRE.
Thank you CBRE for setting an example of philanthropy that warms teachers’ hearts! We are so grateful you chose to partner with us.