Teachers spend an out-of-pocket average of up to $700 on classroom supplies each school year. That’s a significant amount, especially considering the majority of Canadians believe that teachers should be paid more. That’s why we’re offering tips for teachers—along with some school promotional products—that can help make a difference without breaking the budget.
Being organized frees valuable time that might otherwise be spent hunting for field trip permission forms or this year’s lesson plans. There are a few ways to get things organized for a smoother workday. Best of all—these ideas don’t cost a thing!
- Get computers organized. Backup files on the cloud to free up space on your hard drive and delete old documents that are no longer needed.
- Update email accounts. Are there irrelevant subscription emails that make it hard to identify what’s important? Unsubscribe from mailing lists that aren’t useful.
- Transport essentials with ease. A large tote bag can help teachers keep track of ongoing projects and papers they take home to grade.
- Think ahead. A journal with pen is perfect for jotting down quick ideas whenever they appear. It makes for easy reference down the road.
- Plan ahead for bad weather. Prevent chaos from erupting by having pre-planned activities ready when mother nature doesn’t cooperate. Ideas include role play with paper hats, sticker activity books or colouring books.
- Have comfort on hand. A soothing hot/cold pack can save the day when a headache or sinus pressure appears.
Connect with others
Learning from others is invaluable as a teacher. Here are some budget-friendly ways to share ideas and benefit from others’ experiences.
- Sign up for an Edcamp, which is a “low-cost, ‘bottom-up’ approach to teacher improvement” resource, according to TeachThought. Participants teach each other in laid-back sessions.
- Join a book study. Find a low-cost digital book to discuss with fellow teachers. Stay motivated to take notes with a fun highlighter.
- Take a class. Find an affordable class about a topic that’s not your strength. It may sound strange, but it’s an opportunity to relate to struggling learners and get insights into ways to help them.
A little time spent looking for discounts can add up to big savings throughout the school year. Search for new or gently used supplies at yard sales or discount stores and be sure to look for coupon options. Avoid impulse buying and be sure to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal (end-of-season sales are always a good idea!). And be sure to ask if your favorite stores or websites offer teacher discounts. Saving a few bucks may be as easy as showing your school ID.
Look for resources outside your own pocket
If you’re still finding it hard to make ends meet, ask for help. Many families are happy to contribute classroom supplies. Send home notes with students asking for needed items but be sure to tell parents it’s OK if they are unable to contribute. Also check with your school. Some districts have items on hand for classroom use. It might be more convenient to provide your own but using what’s available can save money.
It’s time for your A game
Use these tips for teachers to learn from others, stay organized and get the supplies you need without putting a strain on your budget. Pair that with a few helpful school promotional products and you’ve got an A+ combination.