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What Is a Teaching Grant and How Do I Get One?
The best teachers have a passion for what they do and are always looking for ways to make their classrooms better. Whether you are already a teacher or are planning to start a career in teaching, there will come a time when you will have a teaching strategy or educational idea you would like to implement in your classroom. With a teaching grant, you can make those hopes a reality.
What Is a Teaching Grant?
Simply put, a teaching grant is a gift. It can be monetary or come in the form of materials given to a teacher to help improve their classroom and/or their teaching skills. Some grants pay for classroom technology, like iPads, while others might pay for teachers to further their education or attend an educational conference. In other instances, grants can support research into teaching strategies, augment teaching salaries, or even help teachers buy and care for a classroom pet.
Who Gives Out Grants?
Teaching grants come from a wide variety of sources, including nonprofits, corporations, and government agencies. However, the one thing grant-givers have in common is that they want to help improve education.
How Do You Get a Grant?
Earning a teaching grant is a multistep process that will likely take a fair amount of time to complete. In general, you will need to:
Identify a Specific Need
What do you want to use a grant for? Before you start seeking out grants, answer that question as specifically as possible. Do you want to buy a SMART Board for your classroom? Do you want to earn certification in special education? Do you want to fund an idea for implementing a no-test grading system? Knowing exactly what you want can dramatically improve your chances of earning a grant.
Get Buy-In From Administration
Most administrators want to stay abreast of their teachers’ plans. Take your idea up the chain and make sure the administration approves. If they do, they may be able to provide resources to help you secure your grant.
Find an Appropriate Grant
Since teaching grants can come from numerous sources, take the time to fully do the research and apply for the ones that are most geared toward your plans. Education-centered grant-search sites like GetEdFunding can be great resources, as can more generally focused sites like GrantWatch. You should also check out the grants offered by the U.S. Department of Education as well as those offered through your state, county, and municipality. If you can’t find an appropriate grant, don’t give up. Crowd-funding sites like DonorsChoose can help you find nontraditional funding for your idea.
Write Your Grant Proposal
Most grants require you to complete an application process that includes a detailed description of your plans. To make your proposal stand out, be specific and straightforward about how you will use the grant, present supporting evidence that shows both a need for your plan and a need for funding, and set yourself apart by showing how you are the most worthy candidate for the grant.
When writing a proposal, it’s also helpful to supply a budget that shows exactly how—and how efficiently—you’ll use the grant. Finally, take time to learn about the mission of the grant-giver so you can align the language in your proposal with their core goals. If you have a good idea and write your grant proposal well, you’ll increase your chances of earning the grant you need.
How Else Can You Improve Your Chances of Earning a Grant?
Organizations that give out teaching grants gravitate toward teachers who have a proven commitment to teaching and education in general. One of the best ways to demonstrate your commitment is by holding an advanced education degree. Specifically, a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) can show that you’ve invested in yourself and in your field in order to be the best teacher you can be. Plus, earning a master’s in education can give you the elevated understanding of teaching you need to write a winning grant proposal.
The question is: How do you find time to earn an MS in Education if you’re already teaching full time? Online education can be the answer. When you earn your master’s in education online, you won’t have to live near or even drive to a campus. Instead, you can complete your MSEd degree coursework from home. Additionally, online learning gives you exceptional scheduling flexibility, letting you choose when in the day to attend class.
If you’re serious about teaching—and about earning teaching grants—completing an online master’s in education program can a wise choice.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Education (MSEd) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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