It's great to support teachers. At risk of inaccurately using the majestic plural, we love our teachers, and they deserve better. But let's be straight here: What can we get out of it? Is it not too much to ask for a little entertainment while we give money to our beautiful teachers, so they don't have to pay for classroom supplies out of their own pockets?
South Dakota has found a solution to this problem. CU Mortgage Direct and the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede teamed up to hold a contest at Saturday night's game. They turned $5,000 for teachers into one-dollar bills, dumped it on a canvas at center ice, and had 10 local teachers scrabble for the money. Now that's a promotion!
Annie Todd of the Argus Leader documented the Stampede's first-ever "Dash for Cash." It's hard to imagine why no one there had ever thought of it before.
Now that's just good, degrading fun. For the past decade, South Dakota has been at or near the bottom for average teacher pay in the United States. In 2019-20, the state ranked 50th (including Washington, D.C.). Having 10 of those teachers compete against each other for a total of $5,000 surely boosted that number a little bit. That doesn't even factor in the money those teachers could have raised from selling tickets to the game. Usually a sports team has to hire someone specifically for that job. With this, they're killing two birds with one stone.
Via Todd's article on the event, here's a quote from someone who thinks he's helping:
"With everything that has gone on for the last couple of years with teachers and everything, we thought it was an awesome group thing to do for the teachers," Ryan Knudson, Director of Business Development and Marketing for CU Mortgage Direct, said. "The teachers in this area, and any teacher, they deserve whatever the heck they get."
Would it have been more dignified to just give each teacher $500? Sure—if you wanted everyone in the stands to fall asleep! Who's going to divert half their attention from their phone to watch that? You need a bachelor's degree in marketing to come up with this kind of idea.