Don't give up hope, because if you're a public school teacher in the U.S., you might be able to get your registration, food, travel, and lodging covered with a DonorsChoose grant! They've just announced a program to allow teachers to submit requests for professional development funding.
If you're interested, drop everything and write that DonorsChoose proposal now! You need to submit your proposal as soon as possible in order to get it funded before the conference which takes place on July 28th and 29th.
May 29th Update: The DC guidelines say that you must submit the proposal 2 months in advance, but I found out that this isn't a firm deadline. They will approve projects for our conference if we will work with them on accepting payments closer to the workshop date. If you submit a proposal before June 5th, you should be fine as long as your project amount is less than $500. After June 5th you should email us to let us know that you're planning to submit a DC proposal so we can advise you about the best way to proceed.
Get Energized at the Teaching Resources Summer Conference
What??? You didn't know I was presenting a workshop this summer? No worries! Just click over to the Teaching Resources Summer Conference page to read about it. I'm teaming up with Pat Calfee, a former elementary teacher and awesome presenter, to offer an exciting two-day event that's sure to get you pumped up and energized for the 2016-2017 school year.
The Math Toolkit: Engaging Strategies for Success session will take place on July 28th, followed by Literacy Toolkit: Engaging Strategies for Success on July 29th. In both sessions, we not only share WHAT to teach, we dive into best practices and explore HOW to teach that content effectively. The outcome? Your students will love to learn and will soar to success!
How to Apply for DonorsChoose Teacher Development Funding
First, visit this page on DonorsChoose to read the requirements for submitting a teacher development project. If you haven't written a proposal recently, you'll be glad to know that DC has made proposal writing a LOT easier.
I've compiled a few tips that should help you write a winning proposal with the best chance of getting funded. If you have any questions about how to write your proposal, head over to the Caring Classrooms Facebook page and post your questions there.
- When you start writing your proposal, choose the Teacher Development option as shown here. As you write your description, explain how the information and strategies you expect to learn will impact your students next year. To help you with this part of the proposal, visit the Teaching Resources Summer Conference page to find specific details about what we'll be covering in each session.
- Do NOT include technology in your project proposal. I know you wanted to ask for an iPad for taking notes, but you'll have to save that for another project!
- Unless you are experienced with DonorsChoose, keep the total amount of your proposal under $500 for the best chance to get it fully funded. Remember that if your project doesn't fully fund, you'll lose ALL the money donated to it! For example, if you plan to attend both days, the registration cost will be $300. If you request the full travel, lodging, and food allowance, your total cost will be over $600. If you only get $400 in donations before the project expires, you won't get ANY money at all! However, if you had originally only asked for $400, you would have at least gotten that amount.
- Before you submit your proposal, ask your school administrators or PTA if they will pay part of your expenses or match what you get from DC funding. For example, perhaps they will pay your registration fee if you can get DonorsChoose funding for the other expenses.
Here's more good news! The Caring Classrooms community might be able to help you get your project funded when the total amount remaining is less than $500. Francie Kugelman and I are the admins of the Caring Classrooms Facebook page, and our mission is to help teachers get funds for their DC projects. Francie keeps us posted about the latest DC news, and that's how I found out about this teacher development funding opportunity.
To get help from the Caring Classrooms Community, participate in Fund-day Sunday each week until your project is fully funded or selected for our page. When you submit your project link, be sure to mention that the project is a request for funds to attend the Teaching Resources Summer Conference. If we select your project for our page, your funding is guaranteed, even if I have to fund it myself! We are wrapping up our 3rd year, and every single project added to the Caring Classrooms Giving Page has been fully funded!
If you do submit a proposal to get funding to attend this conference, please post a link to your DC proposal in a comment on this post along with your name and email address so that Pat or I can contact you with more details about how and when to register for the conference.
Good luck! We hope to see you in Virginia Beach in July!