Chances are, somewhere along your teaching journey, you have contemplated different ways to reduce teaching expenses throughout the year. No matter how efficient you are at budgeting, shopping for supplies or applying for grants, a little extra help is always appreciated. Thank goodness for resources like weareteachers.com and buzzfeed.com that feature a ton of quirky yet super functional and efficient teaching hacks. We want to share some ideas and links with you to help get you well on your way to organization and creativity for your classroom; all the while, saving money as you go!
Classroom Tip: At the end of the school year, consider this: who is retiring this year? Chances are they have some unused OR reusable classroom materials that need a new home. Will they have items that they are willing to give to you?
Classroom DIY and Teacher Hacks
If your district is one that is connected to the high school, it may be an opportunity to exchange classroom set-up help for volunteer hours! Contacting the high school’s Student Council or National Honor Society could potentially lead to a win-win: students getting volunteer hours and teachers getting assistance to save time, and as we know, time = money!
So, what DIY projects are you going to take on for your classroom? The internet is full of simple, creative hacks that help make classroom management and environment more efficient AND less expensive! If you haven’t already, we suggest signing up for a Pinterest account, as we’ve found it one of the best resources out there for finding an amazing diversity of classroom ideas.
Alright teachers, it’s time to clean out those cabinets, shelves, desks, nooks and crannies! We bet they’re housing tons of still very usable classroom supplies. We understand that you may hanging on to items for future use, but if that’s the case, find some clear tubs or bins for better organization. As you organize, be sure to refer back to your list to see if there are supplies you already have.
Classroom Tip: Always inventory your ENTIRE classroom at the end of the year. This way, you can ensure that you do not purchase duplicates. Have something you no longer need? Chances are, there is another teacher in your school that would love to have it!
Sharing is Caring
Teachers can share and exchange so many different materials in so many different ways. Like we say at ClassTag, it’s always important to #TeamUpForTeachers! For example, lessons and ideas can be shared freely online through sources like teacherspayteachers.com. Teachers can also share manipulatives, textbooks, supplies, technology and so much more in person within their own schools. Not to sound like a broken record, but it is essential to refer back to your supply list so you can check what you may already have access to compared with your needs and wants.
The online resource, weareteachers.com has a list of the 16 best Teacher Pinterest pages to follow; a list of educational Facebook Pages worth following; and also, a list of Instagram pages that will be a source of inspiration. As you check out the suggested sources, your research will likely continue and you’ll find even more teachers to follow and be inspired by!
Finding Support in Your Local Community
Have you considered the different local businesses in and around your community that have a potential resource to donate? For example, you could call on the local seamstress to ask for leftover scraps, yarn, or other materials to use for classroom furniture or decor. Local consignment stores may be willing to donate clothes that haven’t sold or that are unwearable that you could repurpose for a classroom project. Boxes from electronic stores or appliance stores could be used for storage, organization, your classroom library, magazine racks, or many other DIY projects. If your town or area has a sign or a printing shop, they may also have scraps and leftover materials that could be donated to your classroom. We encourage you to think outside of the box, call your local stores, and see what they can do for you and your students.
Classroom Tip: Using ClassTag for parent engagement? Try sending a note out to parents asking if anyone owns or works at a local business that could donate supplies, scraps or any other potentially useful materials. Be sure to include the above ideas for inspiration!
Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve offered a ton of information … and there’s more to come! Have no fear, you’ve got more time than you think, especially if you are proactive and take advantage of the resources and support available to you.