Mary works with our incredible DonorsChoose.org volunteers and our Screening team to ensure all projects meet eligibility guidelines.
It may sound cliché, but a photo really is worth a thousand words—especially when it comes to your classroom. A distinct photo for your DonorsChoose.org teacher page and projects helps donors connect with your classroom and are a powerful tool for creating long-term connections. Check out these tips for creating a dynamite photo and some examples of classroom photos we love:
Tip 1: Take a photo!
A classroom photo should ideally be just that—a photo! Although it can be tempting to use colorful clipart, taking and sharing an actual photo gives donors the best snapshot of what makes your classroom unique. Your go-to move for a new classroom photo should be to grab the camera and snap a picture of your students in action. Show students working at their desks, out on a field trip, or having fun as a group. Photos tell your students’ story best!
Tip 2: Safety first!
Good photos are, first and foremost, safe photos. To take safe photos of your students:
• Go for the group shot. Group shots of students, or photos that feature the sides or backs of students’ heads, help protect student privacy.
• Break out your safest background. If your classroom number or school name are visible, try selecting a new background that features student artwork instead.
• Emoticons are great—but not on your students! We’ve seen some pretty creative methods of editing photos for student privacy, including frequent use of smiley-faces covering up student faces. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you need to edit a photo, it most likely wasn’t a safe photo to begin with. If you’re worried about posting images of students, or are waiting on permission slips, stick to photos that feature the back of students’ heads or photos of your donated supplies without students.
Tip 3: No tech? No problem!
No access to students or your classroom during the summer? Don’t have the right technology? Locking down the perfect classroom photo, without the perfect tech, can be tough. If you’re struggling to get a photo for your project, try these tips:
• Ask around! Ask around! Another teacher or a parent at your school may already have some compelling, safe photos of your classroom or students’ work. Have them email you the photos to make uploading one to your project a breeze. And, if photos aren’t readily available, someone may be willing to quickly snap one for you or lend you a camera.
• Old photos are better than no photos. Old photos are better than no photos. New teacher? Trying to get a photo during the summer? Using an image of previous students or classrooms is a good option—but plan to update it to feature your new classroom once school is in session! If you don’t have students yet, a photo of your bulletin board or vibrantly decorated classroom is another great option; show donors your creativity!
• Reach out to our customer service team through the Help Center. If the upload feature is giving you trouble, or if unique circumstances have you stumped about how to get a photo, there’s a team of people eager to help.