Elizabeth Scott, a second grade teacher, said she bought some name and desk tags for her students and magnetic tape to put things on the classroom white board.
“I would definitely purchase things I don’t normally purchase, which would be things like those desk dividers that allow students to work independently,” Scott said. “I would purchase some of these totes for my classroom library, because I was at the dollar store buying some, but they don’t last very long.”
Video by Mary Irish/AZEdNews: What a grant would help Ms. Scott buy for her class
While the 20% by 2020 plan has increased salaries for many Arizona teachers, most teachers still spend more than $500 a year out of their own pocket for classroom supplies, learning materials and snacks for their students.
A week before school starts, teachers, instructional coaches and assistant principals were buying classroom supplies, learning tools, storage, bulletin board and student reward items at Teaching & Learning Stuff in Glendale.
Some teachers have used crowdfunding to obtain technology for their classrooms, add flexible or adaptive student furniture, and provide learning tools that engage students and help them achieve.
Resources like Treasures4Teachers and Maricopa County Education Service Agency’s STEM Resource Center help many educators.
Many teachers have found that applying for grants is another way to help meet their students’ needs.
AZEdNews is celebrating its fifth anniversary by giving back to teachers with $200 classroom grants to enhance classroom learning that will be given out in September, December, February and April of this year.
Scott said she’d like to find a door bell with different tones to use as a reminder as students transition to a new activity, and that she’d buy more pencils and markers than she usually does.
“I would buy extra supplies for students who can’t afford them. I do that anyway, but it would be nice to have that supplemented,” Scott said.
It would also be a big help to buy “some extra online or file folder games that I don’t have to create or make myself that I could use with my class,” Scott said.
Another priority would be “flexible seating pieces so students can have choices throughout the week where they’d like to do their work,” Scott said.