10 Ways to Support Your Classroom Teacher This Year
posted by: Susan Wells
It’s August, which means back to school, which means saying goodbye to summer, which means shelling out the moola.
Is it the smell of new school supplies? or the sound of money skittering out of my checking account faster than cockroaches when the lights go on that reminds me of Back to School time more?
It’s the time of year when you pay school fees, buy supplies, supplement hot lunch accounts and so much more. I’ve never been a big fan of back to school season, but now that I also have to pay for it, I detest it.
If the money flying out of my bank account isn’t bad enough, I have to face the fact that my children are indeed a year older. Another school year behind us, a new grade ahead of us. The time goes by at lightning speed.
I discovered a way to harness my melancholy and focus my energy into a better mindset, rather than just sulking. And I’m using my renewed and rejuvenated motivation to support my children’s education before I head towards burn out all the way out in late October.
Sure the money is flying away, yes things are tight, but things are even tighter in the education world. Teachers are setting up their classrooms, funding supplies and materials that aren’t always covered by the school system. Teachers spend thousands of dollars out of their pockets each year to fund their classroom and educate our children.
Don’t get lost in the madness of back to school shopping, paying fees and kissing the summer fun goodbye. Turn your energy to helping and supporting your new classroom teacher.
I’m always so focused on getting my kids prepped and ready to go, that I don’t stop and think about what the teacher is going through to prep their classroom and fatten up those lesson plans. Here are a few ways; some cost your time, others subtract from your bank account, to get your head out of the back to school stress and set up the person who will be a big part of your child’s life for the next nine months or so…
1. Back to school shopping takes a serious toll on your wallet. I never look forward to making all the subtractions in my checking account. However, your school needs funds to operate for the next year. Pay the registration fees. This is where materials, like science books and lab materials, Scholastic News and other classroom supplies are purchased from. If you don’t pay the registration fees, the school will still cover the cost for your child, but will need to borrow from other funds. If you can cover the fees, pay them.
2. While back to school shopping, add a few extra items for the teacher. Some schools give suggestions or donation ideas…choose a few and add them. They don’t have to be expensive items…this time of year you can get glue or crayons for 25 cents. Every little thing helps. Even an extra box of tissues or bottle of hand sanitizer. Wouldn’t you rather your child is using a tissue with sanitized hands come next April or May vs their sleeve?
3. If you don’t know what your teacher may need, grab a $10 gift card to Target or Office Depot on your way out. You’d be amazed at how far a teacher can stretch $10.
4. Give the school a few packages of copy paper. Copies aren’t free. Paper is a huge help to teachers’ classroom budgets.
5. Look through your child’s book case and donate books that they no longer read to last year’s classroom teacher. Teachers are always looking for new books to add to their libraries.
6. Sign up to be the room mom. This is a huge relief to teachers who must resort to begging their parent group or doing it themselves when no one steps up.
7. Get in the classroom. Offer to file papers, arrange bulletin boards, help with reading or math time. Step up in the classroom and assist the teacher where they need help.
8. Get involved in PTA. Attend meetings, be involved in what is happening in the school and classrooms. Teachers appreciate the parents who are visible not only in their classrooms, but around the school. Supporting the entire school helps each teacher.
9. Give the teacher a bag of their favorite coffee beans, Via’s, tea, or favorite drink packet at the beginning of each month. Or grab a box of healthy granola bars or other snack that the teacher enjoys. This may look like sucking up, but it will put a huge smile on your teacher’s face and keep them going during every school day. (If you spend any time in the classroom, you will quickly learn how much energy and mental agility it takes to keep a class going all day.) It’s not really sucking up to just make a teacher feel valued and supported all year.
These are my suggestions. What other suggestions do you have or do you do to help out the classroom teacher?