Show appreciation to teachers
By Susie Hovater Malone
It’s back-to-school season, and as many are aware, it is quite pricey. According to the National Retail Federation report, in the 2022 school year, families with children in elementary through high school spent an average of $864 on school supplies. But there are many classroom supplies beyond the basics that are not covered by parents or provided by the school. The burden of purchasing those items often falls on teachers.
There are so many expenses at the beginning of a school year for a teacher. Most pay for supplies and classroom decorations out of their own pocket! These basic supplies are pencils, pens, crayons, folders, clipboards, dry erase markers, glue sticks and organizing bins. Some may have to purchase their own soap, hand sanitizer and tissue to supplement what is provided by the school.
In a survey by the nonprofit AdoptAClassroom.org, teachers spent an average of $750 a year on classroom supplies for public, private and charter schools in all 50 states. As state funding for schools continues to not be enough for big expenses like salaries, repairs and transportation, money allocated for classroom materials is cut short.
Adopt a Classroom was founded in 1998 to support the dedicated teachers who spend money out of their own pockets on classroom supplies. Over the past 20 years, corporate partners, small businesses and individual donors have teamed up with this nonprofit organization to make a huge impact on classrooms in need of funding.
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs support many teachers with various classroom needs through their Education and Libraries Community Service Program.
Many clubs, including GFWC Book Lovers Study Club, obtain a supply list from local schools to organize a drive to supply book bags, notebooks, binders and other items.
Some clubs adopt a teacher and provide supplies for their classrooms including a “treasure chest” for stickers or small items that can be used as incentives for students. These members may provide reading software, other materials, funds for after-school enrichment programs or support schools and public libraries by donating books, books on tape, movies and sponsoring special events.
Teachers are the backbone of society. They are role models to children and offer guidance. They are dedicated, and, through education, prepare them for the future.
As a new school year begins, this is a good time to start the year off by showing kindness and appreciation to teachers throughout the year. Here are some ideas:
Writing kind notes to teachers is a simple way to show your appreciation. Gift cards are always a great option, as well as snacks, such as candy, fruit, cookies or classroom supplies.
Even a simple flower will show your teacher that you appreciate them, will make them happy and give them something to make their classroom look pretty and smell good. A thank you, high-five or hug will be fine also.
Teachers hardly ever get to take a break. Parent volunteers can help watch students throughout recess, lunch times, conferences or meetings. Let this year be a positive one by showing teachers they are appreciated by everyone.