Teachers have always been prioritizing the welfare of their students to the point where they even have to use their own funds to provide some school supplies for their students to use. An average public school teacher roughly spends about $500 every year on school supplies and even more depending on the school’s budget.
School supplies are essential for students’ cognitive learning which is why it is important for schools and teachers to invest in them. However, there is no denying that these essentials are a burden on a teacher’s pocket. That is why it is also important for teachers to be creative in finding ways to get free supplies for the classroom, and here are some ways for it.
4 Teacher-Tested Ways To Get Free Supplies For The Classroom
1.) Save your supplies from last year.
A new school year means there should be a newly stocked classroom, it may not seem that much but saving some reusable supplies from the previous year can cut a teacher’s budget for school supplies. Pens, markers, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, unused folders, and papers can be brought to the new school year for the students to use. Teachers can even encourage some of their students who are moving into the upper grade to donate the school supplies that they would not need any more such as crayons, rulers, and much more.
They can also ask their colleagues if they have any extra supplies that they can spare, or if there are supplies that they are willing to share with them such as staplers, sharpeners, erasers, and many more. Sometimes teachers do not necessarily need to buy a certain school supply such as a pair of scissors, they can always share it with other classrooms so they can efficiently maximize their budget for other perishable school supplies like papers.
It is also possible to reuse some of the papers that have already been written, it just needs to take a little bit of the teacher’s time to remake a new paper out of the used papers. There are many people who have been making recycled papers for their arts and crafts because using recycled paper for art purposes is better than using a new one. Teachers can also teach their students to make one themselves since it is a relatively easy process to do under a teacher/parent’s supervision.
2.) Ask your family and friends.
There are some supplies that you can ask your family and friends for, like extra paper, paper clips, book clips, old rulers, and more. If you have friends who are working in the office industry then you can ask them if they have an extra stock of papers that they won’t need anymore. I know people who are working in the office industry and most of them always offer me a pack of papers because their office gives them to them for free because of their extra supplies.
Ink and marker refills are also supplies that are always given to office workers, so if you have a friend or a family member who has that type of job you can also ask them for help. If your friends or family do not have any means to acquire supplies then ask them if they know someone who has.
Do not hesitate to ask other people for their help because this is for the better learning of the children. If there is a slight possibility that others can help provide a better learning environment for the students, then pursue it. It is better to dive into these opportunities than to waste money on supplies that can be provided through other means.
3.) Look out for school charities.
The internet provides the means for teachers to connect with charitable donors who are willing to help schools and teachers for the betterment of the students. One of the most popular school charities is the “Adopt-A-Classroom” which is an organization that helps teachers find supplies that they need, you can register your classroom or your whole school for donation and people will be able to fund the supplies that you specifically need.
This organization has helped many teachers and schools and has funded over two hundred thousand classrooms so rest assured that if you are in need of new school supplies for your classroom then this is a site that you can go to. If you are not familiar with online donations, then you can also raise a donation drive for your school near your area. It is better if you personally know the potential donors, and give them proper credit and thanks for their donations.
Donations can be in many forms but simple donations of school supplies are mostly welcomed, there is no need for people to donate a huge sum of money—a little bit of support from other people will help teachers be able to provide the necessary supplies that students will need.
4.) Usage of Online Applications.
Nowadays, technology has helped many people: specifically teachers. In this time of the pandemic, online teaching applications have been on the rise and are encouraged to be used by teachers and students. These applications can act as an alternative for school supplies, an example would be the Doceri Whiteboard Application, instead of investing in markers and ink refills teachers will be able to convey their lesson just by using this application—simply project your device for students to see.
Students will also be able to download and use these applications especially since it is free to download. Most of these online applications are available to be downloaded for free, some of them require to be paid in order to fully utilize their many features but it is not necessary.
Moreover, these paid applications can be used for free depending on the school’s subscription. Some schools have already paid for various subscriptions for these applications for teachers and students to use, so you can create an account using your school’s email address.
Another great perk of using these online applications is the “paper-free” opportunity that they present. Documents and presentations can be sent through these applications so there is no need for a hard copy of these files. It is more convenient for the teachers since they do not need to use paper, and also easier for students to access.
So there we have it! Here are 4 strategic ways for you to get free classroom supplies. Teachers should not struggle to get the classroom supplies they need. You just have to be resourceful and smart about it is you know where to look!
While the list is not exhaustive, it is a great place for you to start if you have run out of all other options and before you buy all of your classroom supplies, be sure to use these free resources first.
Your wallet will thank you. Until our next one!