This is a sponsored post with compensation received from General Mills. As always, all opinions are my own.
The average teacher spends over $500 of their own money on classroom supplies during a typical school year. These are 7 things teachers need and parents can do to help make the school year a success.
Recently I read an article about a teacher who took extreme measures to get the supplies her students needed, panhandling beside the road in her town. She was quoted as saying that she spent over $2000 of her own money each year on supplies.
Wow! It sounds wild, but an April 2016 Money Magazine article confirms that 1 in 10 teachers spends over $1000 of their own money on classroom necessities every year. The average out-of-pocket expense is $500 per teacher.
I called my friend Melissa, a teacher here in Texas, to ask how parents could help lessen the burden on teachers. She gave me some awesome advice, as did a few of my favorite education bloggers.
Collect Box Tops for Education
“They really help!” Melissa enthusiastically told me. Collecting Box Tops from General Mills products gives us parents (and the community as a whole) an easy way to support your teachers and care for your school.
Not only do Box Tops help teachers get additional supplies, funds from Box Tops are used to build new playgrounds, provide sports equipment, sponsor field days, and more.
CVS makes it easy to care for your school with the General Mills products your family loves — from 8/20 – 8/27 when you *spend $30 on participating Box Tops products, you earn a $10 ExtraBucks reward.
Shop at CVS during the month of August on Box Tops for Education products — give your school a head start on the upcoming year and earn cool rewards for yourself too!
Donate extra supplies
“Anything you think we’ll use…we will!” Melissa says.
If you’re able, pick up extra set of supplies on your school list. This can help provide for students who might not be able to purchase their own. Melissa also stresses that teachers always need tissues, hand sanitizer, and other daily essentials — often far more than is requested on the back to school supply list.
I’m always surprised by how much we spend on school supplies every August, but then I remember that I’m only buying for one kid! If we all pitch in and help our teachers, they’ll be able to spend more time teaching and less time worrying about how to get the gear they need.
Help your kids stay organized
Elementary school students are asked to remember a lot of things, from tests to homework to special events. As a parent, you can help prepare them for success by giving them the tools they need to stay organized.
If your school doesn’t provide one, purchase a planner or agenda for your child and show them how to use it. This builds the organizational habits they need for the rest of their student career. Teaching kids to pack their own backpack and check it every morning prepares them for a successful day. This backpack checklist from JDaniel4’s Mom helps kids learn to do it themselves.
Teach kids life skills appropriate for their age
Jemma, a teacher and blogger at Thimble & Twig, stresses the importance of cultivating life skills that will help them at school and the outside world.
For preschoolers and early elementary students:
- Teach them to recognize their name next to other names and write it if possible
- Practice dressing themselves so they can handle jackets, shoes, etc. without your help
- Ensure that they are able to feed themselves and carry a tray with food
- Work on cutting safely with scissors
- At home, consistently ask them to tidy up, sit still and listen so they will repeat these positive behaviors at school
For middle & high school students:
- Make sure they can use a map and find their way around new places
- Show them how to use a library system
- Encourage them to confidently ask for help when needed
- Model for them how to behave as a good friend
- Help them foster their own independence with chores at home
Provide a consistent positive drop-off routine
With younger children and first-time students, drop-off can be a stressful time. However there are steps parents can take to make the process easier for everyone and a positive one for kids. Your teachers want to help you!
Sheryl from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds reassures her parents: “[One of parents’] biggest fears is that we will make them stay at school while they are crying the entire time. I assure them that we will not. We want this experience to be a positive one. We want them to feel safe and loved. That is our goal starting the very first day we meet them, at open house. If a parent says good bye to a tearful child, we will send a text and photo showing their child happily engaged in an activity. This is probably the biggest comfort to parents.”
Read more of Sheryl’s tips for easing separation anxiety and creating a worry-free drop off routine here.
Make sure children get plenty of sleep and eat breakfast
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics state that elementary aged children need 9-12 hours of sleep per night, some kids might even need more sleep!
Making sure that your child gets a full night’s rest and fuels up with a wholesome breakfast in the morning is critical for them to be their best during an 8 hour school day.
Communicate with your teacher
The one thing that every teacher I talked to emphasized — stay in communication with your teacher. Read the syllabus, come to the open house and parent conferences, ask what they need and how you can help. We parents and teachers are on the same team with the same goal: to make sure kids get the best education possible. So let’s work together!
Teachers and parents, is there anything you’d add to this list? I’d love to hear your ideas — share them in the comments below!
*Offer valid 8/20/17 – 8/27/17. $30 worth of participating General Mills BTFE products must be purchased in a single transaction with CVS card in order to receive 10 CVS ExtraBucks automatically at checkout. Net purchase determined after all discounts, offers and coupons. Each box top is worth 10 cents to redeeming school when clipped from box tops products and sent to the redeeming school. Only BTFE registered schools can redeem box tops. Limit $20,000 per school per year for box tops redeemed through the clip program. See www.boxtopsforeducation.com for program details.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of CVS Box Tops for Education. The opinions and text are all mine.