The thing I love most about my classroom is the library. I believe that providing easy access to books makes me a better teacher. I struggle to find the right balance in almost every aspect of my job, but reading and providing quality, high-interest books actually is the easy part. But even that is becoming more difficult. As the economy gets worse, there is less money for everything, including classroom libraries. Neither the school budget nor my personal budget are going to allow me to make the book purchases that my students and I enjoy. That means this is the time when getting grants is more important than ever.
I just finished reading Readicide by Kelly Gallagher online (a sneak peek generously provided by Stenhouse) and it reaffirmed for me how important my library is. That made me think about the books that I want to buy, which made me think about money, which reminded me of grants. In my opinion, there is nothing that makes grant writing easier than a little professional reading. Everything you need is right there in one shot: the ideas, the rationale for things you'd like to do, the research to show why the things you want are vital to your students' success. I subscribe to Stenhouse's newsletter and it is always a quick source of ideas and resources. It is how I found out about Gallagher's newest book and the link to read it online. It is also where I read ideas to help me be a better mentor to one of the new teachers at my school.
I don't work for Stenhouse and you certainly don't have to use their newsletter to find inspiration, but I as I was reminded of the free resources we have at our disposal, I wanted to share that with others.