According to a 2010 national survey, teachers spend an average of $623 a year out of their own pockets to provide needed supplies, rewards, and other staples for students. Pencils and pens (78%), prizes and incentives (72%), and arts and crafts supplies (72%) top the list of purchases teachers make using their own cash, according to the survey, which was conducted last April by OfficeMax®. [Read the survey.]
Can you think of another profession where “employees” regularly reach into their pockets to provide the necessities needed to do their jobs? Do accountants dip into their wallets for clients? Do engineers purchase supplies required to do their jobs? Educators are among the only professionals who dig deep to into their personal savings for the must-haves of their professions.
And as school districts tighten their budgets, the situation is only going to get worse.
CLASSROOM WISH LISTS
ON THE NATIONAL TEACHER REGISTRY
The National Teacher Registry is a new, free, first-of-its-kind service for school teachers. The Registry enables teachers to create an online wish list of items they need and want for their classrooms. Parents and others can access the registry by teacher or school name, purchase items from the list, and have their selections delivered to the classroom.
The Registry operates similar to online wedding or baby shower registries, but the products are all education related. Teachers can create wish lists of office or art supplies, books, educational games, teaching tools, and much more from retailers that include Borders Books, the Teaching Supply Store, and Dick Blick Art Materials.
The Registry was created by MarCole Interactive Systems, which has built bridal and gift registries for large retailers such as Neiman-Marcus, Office Depot, and Target. The site is entirely free to educators. Teachers and parents pay no fees; the site is supported by fees the retailers pay to be part of the Registry.
’TIS THE SEASON
What better time than right now -- with the holidays fast approaching -- for teachers to create a classroom wish list that parents and others can access?
Or you might create a wish list for your school on the Registry. You can provide a link to it from your school’s Web page so that community supporters might provide needed items.
The Registry even provides checklists, flyers, and letters to parents that you and your staff can use to broadcast news of this practical resource to your wider school community.
Be sure to check out additional ways to raise money for school supplies and activities in Education World’s Fundraising Article Archive.