Teachers who volunteer to be class sponsors are in a very stressful position because of the pressures of fundraising, managing officers, and spending countless hours hosting different events. Although there are many tasks and responsibilities that come with being a class sponsor, there are also many positive aspects of being a class sponsor.
The ultimate challenge a class sponsor faces is fundraising enough for all the class activities. “The hardest part is the pressure to raise money, everything we do is to raise money,” says senior class sponsor Mr. Welch. The total fundraising goal for each class for all four years is $30,000-$40,000.
The money is used to hold events such as prom, boat dance, graduation, and senior breakfast. “Fundraising has its challenges and finding enough time to do everything we need to do as a group is difficult,” says sophomore sponsor Mr. Roth.
Another difficulty for sponsors, particularly for underclassmen sponsors, is participation. Sponsors feel it’s difficult to get students interested and involved in class leadership when they are younger. “We need more kids, more excitement, people willing to come learn and support, trying to help the class fundraise,” said freshman sponsor Bai Zhen.
Time management is another difficult aspect of the position. The job involves events such as food fests, selling food, parking for events, and helping with marathons, which takes up much of a sponsors free time. “You have to give up lunchtime twice a week, time after school, and time on weekends,” says Mr. Welch.
Besides the time sponsors have to give up, it is also very important for them to have a good relationship with their officers. “If you can’t be real with them and tell them it’s a bad idea, then they will end up putting time and effort into something that isn’t good,” says Mr. Welch.
Despite all of the difficulties class sponsors face, there are a number of reasons for them to take on the job. “It’s fun, I wanted to try something different, helping a class raise money and build spirit is something I always wanted to do,” said Bai Zhen.
Other sponsors want to bond with students in a different way. “I wanted to interact with the schools students in a different way than I normally do, I don’t get the opportunity to interact with general ed students,” said Mr. Roth. New junior class sponsor, Mr. Lin, who took the position after Ms. Lee’s retirement last year, said, “I didn’t want to decline their invitation and disappoint them. Besides, I enjoy learning from and interacting with my students as much as teaching them.”
Mr. Welch, who took the position in his first year of teaching at Galileo, said, “I was a new teacher and I wanted to become involved and get to know students better, it was a good way to get involved in something bigger that would last more than one year.”