LOUISVILLE, Ky. — “Teaching is not the thing you do because you can't do anything else. It's challenging, physically and emotionally challenging. If you do it and you do it well, it is exhausting, but the rewards are so wonderful,” said Betty Doyle, clinical instructor, UofL College of Education.
Teachers can make a huge impact in the lives of their students. For the ones who put their hearts, souls and dollars into their jobs, burnout is inevitable without support. Whether you’re a parent, a friend, or just someone who cares about education, there are some simple ways you can help local teachers right now.
Teachers often spend their own money to make sure their students have everything they need to succeed. If you’d like to contribute, PTO and PTA groups often organize supply drives and fundraisers. Each school has its own organization, so you can get involved by contacting your local school district.
If you’d like to give money, the website Donors Choose allows you to financially support teachers and classrooms across the country. Teachers set up their own wishlists, so the money you give goes directly to what they need. Right now, there are more than 1,000 active fundraisers in Kentucky and Indiana.
Push policymakers for change
With low pay and underfunded pensions, teachers are in a tough situation that won’t change unless those in charge of funding education take action.
“If you have any contacts, lobbying or anything with the state, let them know these are our future right here…Let them know that education is important and funding is important,” said Cristie Haire, a 3rd grade teacher in Charlestown, Indiana.
There are dozens of bills related to education that have been introduced into the Kentucky and Indiana legislatures. These bills range from a “nonteaching time” requirement (HB 165) to arming school resource officers (SB 8). If there is a bill you want to see passed, call your legislators and share your support.
Say thank you
On the most basic level, show some appreciation for the teachers in your life. Give them a call, message them on Facebook, or pay them a visit. A simple “thank you” means more than you may ever realize.