How a little computer play time could help others

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I’ve done something crazy (no surprise, right?!) and need your help in making things get even crazier. I have entered two different grant contests. My goal is to get funding to help me get my T.E.A.C.H. Approach™ Workshop program up and running. I spent the first half of my adult life as a teacher, and my husband is still a teacher, so supporting educators is a very important project to me. (I’ve listed below some grant excerpts to give you an idea of what my goals are.)

Both of these contests require you to have a Facebook account. If you don’t have one, please use the social media icons below to “share” this message with your family, friends and colleagues. If you do have an account, please keep reading for how you can help. Don’t worry, I’m not asking for money from you – just a few clicks on your mouse. This is that rare occasion when I’ll let you off the hook for procrastinating and playing on the computer!!

Contest #1 – $250,000 grant – sponsored by Chase

  1. Go to www.Missionsmallbusiness.com.
  2. Click “Log In & Support” on the right side of that page.
  3. Sign in via Facebook.
  4. Scroll down to the search area and type in LivingOrder San Antonio in the business rectangle. (LivingOrder is one word.)

You can fill in State: Texas       City: San Antonio                       but it’s not necessary.

5. When LivingOrder San Antonio appears, please click on VOTE.

We need at least 250 votes just to qualify to have the proposal considered. Twelve winners will be chosen.

You can vote for as many businesses as you like, so please feel free to help out others!

 

Contest #2 – $15,000 prize pack – sponsored by PostNet – (Update: The voting for this contest is now closed.)

Go to LivingOrder San Antonio‘s listing on PostNet’s Boost Your Biz page and click on VOTE. We need to be in the top 5 vote getters to be judged. One winner will be chosen. (Note: If you’re being naughty and doing this at work, be sure to turn down the volume when you get to this page.)

Thank you to Kristian Haber of PostNet for telling me about this. Visit her store at the Alon HEB on NW Military Hwy in San Antonio for terrific printing services.

If you wish to procrastinate a little longer, feel free to “Like” our LivingOrderSA Facebook page.

Thank you so much for your support! Please use the social media icons below to “share” this message with your family, friends and colleagues.  

Grant Excerpts:

  1. Tell us about your business and why it’s unique.

We gave a jazzed up summarized version of our FAQ and Media pages.

2. How is your business involved in the community?

LivingOrder® San Antonio aims to help as many people as possible while still bringing in enough revenue to cover expenses and pay employees. Our community involvement includes volunteering with:

a. Goodwill – I have worked with Goodwill San Antonio over the last few years on educating the public about how their excess clutter and blessings can help those who are not as fortunate. We have worked on donation campaigns and collection days together, as well as supporting each other through social media and appearances in the community. I have media mentions and a YouTube video that keep the support “perpetual.”

b. Dress for Success – Since 2009 I have volunteered to present time management and paper management workshops to the clients enrolled in their Professional Women’s Group. These women, as are the folks in Goodwill’s programs, are trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, put their lives back together, and need all the support they can get.

c. Fairweather Family Lodge – The Program Director at Dress for Success eventually moved to San Antonio Family Endeavors (SAFE) and introduced me to the Fairweather Family Lodge, which is a residential program for homeless women diagnosed with mental issues and who have custody of their children. I initially met with the director to discuss recommendations for organizational and productivity improvements to the facility, and wound up presenting annual organizing workshops to the residents there.

d. Speaking Engagements – I am asked by many groups each year to give a short talk about organizing or productivity. I request that an honorarium be donated to a local charity. This year I am collecting for Alpha Home, which is a treatment facility for chemically dependent women. Their mission is to empower their clients by educating them.

e. “End Teacher Drop-Outs” Campaign – I spent the first half of my adult life as a teacher, and my husband is still in the classroom, so teacher support is an important part of my belief system. Fifty percent of teachers leave the classroom within their first five years of teaching, and that attrition costs the U.S. upwards of $2.2 billion per year.  This past spring I was able to go on a brief campaign with television appearances, blogs and social media postings that call attention to the need to support the educators who significantly affect the future of our children.

In addition to those specific efforts, I’m also the national co-trainer for Quantum Leap, a program that is a part of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). I assist in training professional organizers from across the country on how to team up with and help non-profits on a volunteer basis.

If I could afford to do all of this full-time, I would. But, alas, there are bills to pay.

3. What would the Grant mean to your business plan and how would you utilize the funds to ensure long-term growth and stability?

The grant would mean that I would be able to make a huge impact not just on my local community, but across the nation. My goal is to provide support to teachers nationwide through my T.E.A.C.H. Approach™ Workshops. Currently many schools cannot afford sufficient training provided by out-of-district specialists because of budget cuts. The skills that I teach during my workshops are exactly what teachers need to learn and implement in order to survive these particularly trying times.

With the money, I would immediately be able to:

*hire an individual to contact the nearly 2,000 schools listed on the Johns Hopkins University’s Dropout Factory List and articulate the objectives and benefits of my workshop. Those 2,000 campuses are in most need of my program.

*underwrite many of the initial expenses related to putting on a workshop so that schools would have only a small amount of out-of-pocket expenses until I could…

*hire an individual who would find corporate sponsorships for the workshops in order to partner businesses with the schools in their communities.

*hire and train an additional staff member to work with the client base that I would leave behind in San Antonio while conducting workshops across the country.

Eventually, the groundwork that is laid will lead to additional bookings from entities that can afford to pay full expenses, as well as the necessity to hire staff to manage the increased workload.

The national exposure would also allow me to develop a licensing program in order to give other individuals with a similar passion as mine the training and infrastructure they need to help me spread “the good word.”

With a “clone system” built in both locally and nationally, the works of LivingOrder® San Antonio would be able to continue for many years to come – even long past my retirement.

4. Describe your team.

We submitted a summary of our About Us page, plus shared a little secret: Magdalena and Tracey turned down higher paying jobs because they believe in our mission.

5. Additional relevant information you’d like to share:

Teachers need more than appreciation gifts of trinkets to stick it out in a tough job.

Some educators – and most especially the general public – may not be aware of these sobering statistics:

  • Teacher job satisfaction is at a twenty-two year low. – 29th Annual Met Life Survey of the American Teacher
  • One important trait of teachers labeled as high quality is that they’ve spent more than five years in the classroom. – National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF)
  • One-third of teachers leave the profession within the first three years, and half leave within the first five.  – National Center for Education Statistics
  • Teacher attrition costs U.S. districts $2.2 billion per year.  – Alliance for Excellent Education

If high quality teachers need five years to become just that, and half leave before then, the teacher drop-out rate suddenly becomes just as important as the student drop-out rate. After all, teachers spend more waking hours with our children than parents do and can determine how much – or how little – information will be shared with students.

Not surprisingly, those exiting teachers who were surveyed did mention low pay as a determining factor for leaving, as well as poor student behavior. But, the number one reason teachers gave for leaving the classroom was the lack of a supportive school environment. Disorganization and the absence of time management support are major causes of “overwhelm” for many teachers.

Contrary to popular belief, teaching ain’t a 9 to 3 job. For a peek into what a typical school day is like for many teachers, download a free Sample Excerpt here.

If teachers cannot keep up with email, lesson plans, grading, required documentation, standardized testing requirements, classroom supplies, paperwork and all the other directions in which teachers are pulled, then they will not be able to concentrate on the most important part of their job: teaching children. If they can’t concentrate, they will not perform to the best of their ability. If they’re not performing at their best, the students will not be getting the education that they need and deserve.

If teachers aren’t happy, it shows in their body language. Students sense that. If there’s no joy from the teacher, then there’s no joy in the students. That is a miserable environment. If teachers are less stressed, they’ll be able to enjoy their jobs and their time with students in the classroom. Students feed off positive energy, and that carries over into learning and academic success. That joy for learning is a necessary skill that students need to have in order to succeed in work and life.

To read more about my passion for helping teachers, please visit: http://livingordersa.wordpress.com/category/teachers/.

Thank you so much for your support! Please use the social media icons below to “share” this message with your family, friends and colleagues.

 
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