Browsing the back to school supplies with my own child, I overheard a mom say, “This stuff is so cheap; I don’t know what teacher’s complain about.” $100 for a school supplies is a lot of money and it will cost at least that to get the classroom ready. Between extra crayons/markers/erasers/pencils/sharpeners and classroom decor, many teachers put aside their financial woes to create the perfect environment for your child. Many schools now have policies that teachers are not allowed to send long lists of supplies, and so they end up having to supplement in order to do everything they’d like to do in the classroom. If you would like to help out, here are a few things you can do to minimize the expense for the teacher:
Just ask. Send the teacher an email to the effect of, “Although we are not required to buy supplies, I would like to help out. Is there something under $25 that I can purchase for you?” Sometimes just having the support helps.
A gift card to Amazon or Lakeshore Learning. This is great because the teacher may have already bought supplies or may be unsure of what will be needed based on what students bring in. In January, when she’s out of supplies, this will be a great help to restock!
White board markers. These aren’t cheap and and they go fast! Check out Staples for the most basic supplies.
Small whiteboards for students. These can be a great learning tool but are probably not provided by the school. These work for any age for whole class participation.
A Dunkin Donuts gift card. Can’t go wrong here.
Colored pencils and crayons. Believe it or not, colored pencils can be considered a luxury and we all know how fast crayons go. It would be nice to have a fresh supply read to go.
Stamps and stickers for jobs well done. Provided by school? No way. Encourage your teacher to encourage her students!
Baskets and crates. Check out the dollar store for small storage units. A teacher could always use colorful and easy storage solutions!