With school budgets growing tighter, the modern teacher needs to be resourceful in securing supplies for the classroom. Teaching is a demanding job and creating a lasting impact on students is difficult without the proper resources. Luckily, there are a few tricks for getting around high-cost items, and still give your kids the best experience possible.
If your school won’t give you the budget to buy non-standard paper items, there are ways to produce them yourself. There are templates for printing graph paper, various lined paper or coloring sheets online. You will only be printing the amount you actually need, so this is also a good way to reduce waste. There are also plenty of worksheets and workbooks available online for free, or a fraction of the cost, of physically published ones. You can even find fun craft time ideas to engage your students. Just make sure you’ve got the ink and the budget for high-volume printing!
Smartboards are one of the technological staples of the 21st-century classroom. They make introducing concepts to your students more visually appealing, interactive and internet-friendly. Unfortunately, they cost a fortune. If you want to provide your young minds with this dynamic teaching device but your school can’t afford it, there’s a surprisingly easy way to make it yourself! This is probably a good idea even if your school can afford a real one. All you need is Bluetooth, a Wii controller, an infrared pen and the correct software. Depending on what grade level you teach, you could include your students in the process as a lesson in itself.
The future is crowdfunding! Many people are sympathetic to the plight of the teacher and the lack of funding, parents especially. Everyone wants what is best for the children, right? There are many platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter that allow you to reach out to the public and accept donations online. You can create a wishlist on sites like Amazon that allow people from anywhere in the world to send you what you need. You may be amazed at the support you receive. This generosity and community spirit can be motivational for you and your students, as well. Coming together is one of the strengths of humanity.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but investing in electronic alternatives to traditional teaching supplies could save you money long-term. Rather than buying more paper, writing utensils and books every single year, a one-time investment in tablets or laptops for your little learners could replace all of these outdated expenses at once. They could also save your students from future back problems- no more huge backpacks filled with heavy books and supplies! Books become PDF files, essays are typed and submitted online and even those bulky, expensive calculators are replaced. There are many applications for in-classroom educational games that students participate in together, as well. This flexible technology makes the possibilities for learning endless.
As the times get tough, the tough get creative. Children are the future, so their education is imperative. Please consider these options when planning for your next school year!