By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki
Do corporations make their employees pay for their own office supplies? Nope. Yet the average teacher spends up to $1,000 of his/her own money every year on classroom supplies (not to mention personal time spent getting the classroom in shape before school starts!).
Teachers, here are a few ideas to help you out:
- First of all, don’t be afraid to ask. Create a wish list and ask the parents of your students for supplies. But don’t forget to also ask local bookstores, or craft and office supply stores for discounts or freebies. Many companies can write donations off as a tax break. Tell them a little about your school and your students and how you plan to use the resource. You may get a donation or at least a discount. A nice gesture would be to send a thank you note to the business with a picture of the item in use. Or post to your social media page and thank the business publicly.
- Register your classroom at Adopt a Classroom. Individuals can go to this site and search for a teacher they know, a school they have a connection with, or a subject they’re passionate about and fund it. 100% of their tax-deductible donation goes to the classroom. A similar site is DonorsChoose, where public school teachers can post classroom project requests online. When a project reaches its funding goal, they ship the materials to your school.
- If you’re at a low-income school, you may qualify for free school supplies from Kids in Need Foundation, which maintains a national network of Resource Centers where teachers can get free supplies for their students who are in need.
- Love shopping? Here is a list of 80 stores (from Office Depot and the Apple Store, to museums and clothing stores) from Gift Card Granny that offer discounts to teachers. And you can find other teacher discounts on the Teacher Discounts Pinterest board.
- NEA publishes a monthly list of 10 FREE Things, which includes “the best websites to find printables, your favorite books, instructional videos for you and your students, lesson plans, and other FREE stuff for your classroom.”
- And finally, if you’re looking for free, high-quality teaching resources, make sure to check Curriki often as we’re continually adding new resources.
If you know of other free resources, would you please share?