Whenever I hear someone suggest that I, or any teacher, try using donorschoose.org this is the image that jumps into my mind. Why is donorschoose perfectly acceptable and standing on a street corner with a piece of cardboard proclaiming, "District Out of Money. Will Beg For Paper," would be considered shameful. It is demeaning and ridiculous.
But, since it appears to be necessary lets come up with a few tips that will make it more successful, some creative signage so to say.
1. Mention as many times as possible that your students want to succeed.
"Please help my girls succeed "
"they need to be successful in higher-level math courses"
"we are getting more excited about receiving contributions so that our students have the necessary tools for success"
"Your help will help our students "unlock" their potential to succeed in middle school."
Why do these quotes work? Because as is intuitively obvious to any one that has ever seen a teacher at work, we do not care about student success. Therefore it is imperative to emphasize that you are different from the majority of teachers that have decided to dedicate their lives to student failure.
As you may have guessed, American "free" education is actually a plot of the Illuminati meant to keep the masses ignorant at best.
2. Make sure to mention that your students are minorities. (Include a picture if possible)
Nothing makes moderately successful white people feel better than to help a minority. You get more money if you manage to perpetuate stereotypes. At the beginning of each paragraph you should remind potential donors that your students face drugs, gangs, hunger, gangs, drugs, abusive parents, gangs, and drugs. The next couple of sentence that appear in successive paragraphs manage to mention success and fulfill the white guilt quota.
"Students face gangs, drugs, hunger and many other issues on a daily basis. However, they choose to succeed."
"Urban students face many challenges: gangs, drug abuse, violence, poverty. Yet my athletes continue to succeed."
This way if you don't have permission to use photos of the students you have successfully create one in the mind of the donor.
Baby needs a new Glock!
3. Check you self respect at the door.
Seriously, find your self-respect, wherever you keep it, and just leave it like a pair of musty sneakers by the door of the Kick-Me-In-The-Nads Dojo.
It's not bad enough that those that can do and those that can't, teach. It's not bad enough that each night on the news we hear that the primary problem with American schools is the teacher. It's not bad enough that Michelle Rhee wants to fire every teacher in the nation's capital. It's not bad enough.
Put the teachers on the street with a bucket, and if they are lucky, and orange reflective vest and have them beg for school supplies. We could even have the students make our signs.
"A Pencil For My Thoughts"
"Paper, paper everywhere, but not a drop of ink"
"It was the best of time, nah who am I kidding?"
"Why Can't Johnny Read? He doesn't have any books."
With ample doses of pathos, guilt, and humiliation our nation's public schools will once again be competitive. I still feel like I am taking a goat away from an African village.