Paying it Forward for Teacher Appreciation Week

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By Jamie Berman, Account Supervisor

Education is perhaps one of the most critical issues facing our country’s future; from workforce development and skills training to interpersonal skills, students are the key to our social and economic success. However, educators and school districts face a multitude of challenges, including limited public funding; insufficient technology; shortages of school supplies and learning materials – just to name a few.

Teachers change the lives of millions of students each day and regularly dedicate extra time and effort to support kids’ academic and extracurricular success. Their ability to do their jobs – and do them well – has direct repercussions on the business community, which relies on students’ skill development and competency for future talent. For Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10), we’re taking a look at some of the issues affecting educators and how organizations are taking the lead in standing up for teachers’ wellbeing and students’ futures.

  • Helping Teachers Afford their Communities: As rent and homeownership costs escalate, educators are increasingly being pushed out of the towns and cities where they work. A startup called Landed has created an investment program specifically aimed at helping educators. Landed will pay half a teacher’s standard down payment and realizes a return on its investment by taking 25 percent of the appreciation gain when a property is sold; if the home doesn’t appreciate, Landed takes the loss. Landed has also worked closely with Fannie May to give educators access to a wider array of loan products, in addition to offering financial training and home-buying assistance. Landed is available in Colorado, California and Washington, and aims to expand to more than a dozen markets by 2020.

  • Doubling Down on Donations: When budget and funding are limited, teachers are forced to step up and fill the gap, paying an average of nearly $500 out of their own pockets to cover things like school supplies and books. Many companies help support teachers directly by funding campaigns organized through DonorsChoose.org; for example, Google announced a $5 million grant aimed at fulfilling matches that will help underserved classrooms.

  • Taking a Break: Many teachers attribute burnout to their desire to leave the profession after just a few years. While not directly translated to the classroom, many travel brands are making sure teachers have opportunities to unwind and recharge after a busy school year. This month, educators can enter to win free cruises through Norwegian Cruise Line, free flights to Mexico from CheapCaribbean.com and a luxury vacation at Sandals (also available to nurses and military veterans).

Teachers play crucial roles in students’ lives, and their ability to do their jobs affects all of us. Their success is a critical business issue that has implications for companies’ talent pipelines and worker qualifications.  This Teacher Appreciation Week, you can make personal impact by supporting campaigns on DonorsChoose.org, but consider how your organization can use its resources and network to support the thousands of educators who make our future possible.