What if we started endorsing teachers like pros?

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Research the recent “Teacher Spring” and get your wallet.

Think about your favorite teacher. Now consider your favorite professional athlete. Perhaps Key & Peele said it best:

Every single parent we’ve talked to sees teachers as the All-Stars of American democracy.

The teaching profession is gaining more credibility and respect every day during this pandemic, especially when we all realize that the American economy can’t really reopen without school.

Turning students into scholars and citizens has always been a bonkers task and it’s even more difficult now as we try to replicate the school experience online, with parents.

America’s teachers have never had to improvise like this.

Even though education is in crisis, we’re all starting to realize and remember that, There’s no place like school.

And that’s because exemplary communities have and hold onto teachers that turn schools into education and students into fans of learning.

We decided to start endorsing teachers like the world endorses athletes and celebrities.

Fanschool’s Wall of Fame puts teachers on the map, showcasing our collective gratitude. It enables parents, public figures, and community members to endorse their favorite educators with a financial contribution.

Here’s why and what we’re testing next…

Put our money where our mouths are.

Everyone’s got an opinion about American school because everyone was once a user of them.

That’s fine, but talk is cheap, especially on social media. As someone with 115+million followers once said, “Don’t tweet, vote”.

Feel free to keep singing silly songs and making laughable parodies about teachers, but show them the money too, so they can actually feel valued.

We’ve had enough free stickers and BOGO bullshit.

Make it simpler for communities to give gifts.

My kid’s preschool asked us 3 times the past year to chip in for their group teacher gift, which we’re always happy to do, but we’re millennial parents who never have cash on us and it seems like such a pain to get it to the middleman who then has to do a bunch more work putting it together and presenting it in person.

If your community knows your endorsement URL because you share it publicly or keep it on your website and profile, they can just send you money anytime!

i.e. “Thanks for everything this semester, Ms. Stef! Here’s $100 to take your husband out on a date night tonight. Get a bottle of wine and enjoy!”

Here’s my old Donors Choose page, too. While those projects were cool and I was grateful for them, they were a ton of work and I had very little power over the relationship, the use of funds, or the flexibility to not always have to write a big, begging story each time.

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A PTA or a local business you’re working with should just be able to give you money through an endorsement URL that doesn’t cost an extra $1,000 in fees so non-profit employees can get paid higher salaries than you.

Flip the “ambassador” model for companies.

Teachers aren’t pimps for your product. If they were, they’d be making a lot more money and we wouldn’t need to write an incendiary sentence like that.

What if teachers could also get endorsed by corporations (both non-profit & for-profit) instead?

Love Apple’s products in your classroom and recommend them to others all the time? They should be paying you.

Love Culvers ice cream and often have school fundraisers there? They could be paying you, especially if you’re directing your best high schoolers to their summer jobs and you might be willing to wear Culvers blue and khaki on Fridays like Tiger Woods wears Nike red and black on Sundays.

YOU’RE FREE TO STOP DOING FREE WORK for organizations that make money from it, including many non-profits.

If you’re creating win-wins for companies as a teacher, show them your value and get paid via your URL.

There are lots of college models for this too:

It’s how they attract and keep top professors and how professors get paid through their research.

College athletes will even be able to pursue endorsements soon, for goodness sake!

If you have any ideas to add to our list about companies that should endorse teachers like you more, let us know. This is just the start of something that we hope will improve the culture around how we treat and pay the real “pros” of American democracy.

(written by FANgeopolitics)

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Founded by teachers and technologists, we turn students into FANs of learning with fantasy sports-like games for school content + current events.

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