As you’re stressing about Back to School shopping (I know, I am, too) take a deep breath. I mean, I know the teachers are asking you for 7 tubes of glue sticks and they come in packs of 3 (right? What brilliant teacher decided on the number 7, anyway??) but even after you add up all your supplies this year, think about your child’s teacher. And her minimal paycheck for everything she puts into teaching 20-something students every day and helping them learn and grow. Anyone want to guess how much the average teacher spends per year on her classroom?
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One-thousand dollars on supplies and instructional materials. And the average first-year teacher spends even more, on the lowest salaries.
That’s a lot of glue sticks.
But they aren’t buying just glue sticks. They’re buying things you probably assume the school is buying for them. They’re buying staplers, pencil sharpeners, rugs, easels…
How you can help your teachers
Ask the teacher what she needs
I like to help my teachers, directly. Last year, our third grade teacher placed sticky notes outside her classroom and asked everyone to take a look at them, grabbing if they could help out. She needed everything from extra tissue boxes to reams of paper to, yes, glue sticks. Parents who had extras laying around the house, or who were able to run out to the store for a little more, grabbed the sticky they were going to supply and sent them in the first week of school. Every donation was appreciated.
Buy an extra set of supplies
If you can, this year, rather than buying just supplies for your child, double up. If it’s needed in the classroom, it’s nearly guaranteed that something will happen to someone’s binder, pencil collection or box of crayons. Having extras on hand will help the teacher so she won’t have to supply it when the child needs it most (right away!)
There are several places to donate, such as Adopt a Classroom, which offers the opportunities to donate and get a tax deduction or Blick Art Material’s Art Room Aid program which focuses specifically on programs in the arts. Suggest to your child’s teacher that she register her classroom so that she can benefit.
Tell your child’s teacher about Office Depot Start Teacher Program
She’s going to spend the money (92% of teachers do), even if you donate everything she can think of today, she’ll still spend on the classroom. It’s as inevitable as you’ll need, at some point, to buy a new something for your office. So send her the link to the Office Depot Star Teacher program, where she’ll benefit with fabulous rewards. Office Depot is a retailer that gets school – that cares about teachers and their challenges and understands what they need to thrive. They recognize the contributions of teachers and want to help them succeed.
She can also attend Office Depot’s annual Teacher Appreciation Breakast, kicking off this year’s school year. In the Philadelphia-area, Office Depots are celebrating with breakfasts this Saturday, August 17, 2013. They’ll celebrate hard-working teachers for their dedication and commitment to students’ success. (There will also be special offers and each teacher will receive a back-to-school gift, pictured above.) (more information below)
The Teacher Rewards Program includes
- Members receive personalized promotions on products or services that are relevant to them
- access to special in-store events
- exclusive pre-sale offers on new products
- educators to choose how they get rewarded
Ask your teacher (or school) to create a School Supplies Checklist at Office Depot
To help teachers, parents and schools earn free supplies and alleviate out-of-pocket expenses, every School Supplies Checklist that a teacher creates links to their corresponding school code so that shoppers who use their teacher’s list can help their schools get 5% back for free supplies.
Star Teacher Breakfast at Office Depot this weekend in the Philadelphia region
Teachers in the Philadelphia area are invited to their local Office Depot this weekend to kick off the school year. The event includes
- Free breakfast on Saturday to kick off the week
- Special gift with $10 purchase
- 20% instant discount on qualifying items
- 30 points on every $1 spent on products from event’s sponsors (typical rewards are 10 points/$1)
Please call your local Office Depot to confirm times and dates. Teachers in other areas of the country are being celebrated at Office Depots as well–contact your local store for information.
Everyone can benefit from Office Depot Rewards memberships
Disclosure: I am participating in the #ODRewards campaign sponsored by Office Depot. For more information, about Office Depot Rewards, visit their website.
*statistic provided by Office Depot.
Image credits: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net and All-Free-Download.com
© 2013, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.