I feel as if this is one of the most common questions I hear from teachers: how do I get more resources? I have worked in schools that have an overabundance of resources, and schools where I have had to buy my own printer/copier and paper. The fact of the matter is, we are always trying to get more resources for our students. In this week’s Coach’s Corner, I will list a few ways to get additional resources for your classroom.
#1: Fundraising. This seems to be the most common method that teachers use, and you can get practically ANYTHING that you need for your classroom. I have many colleagues who have gotten items such as Chrome Books advocating for themselves and their students via websites such as Go Fund Me and Donors Choose, or simply writing grants. Using these avenues generally requires that you write up an explanation of what you need, why you need it, and how you plan on using it. Just be careful, some donor sites will deliver the materials, but they will belong to the school and not you. Keep this in mind if you plan on leaving your building and wanted to take the materials with you.
#2: Partner Organizations. Many educators fail to reach out to organizations that are currently working in their school, or with students in the community. Many organizations offer amazing benefits to their schools. For example, Gear Up has a wonderful program called Units for Books. If you submit a unit plan to them (they have specific guidelines for this), they will give you a class set of textbooks. You can keep the books yourself, or give them to your students at the end of the unit. Partner organizations provide amazing support. Think about what you need: someone to teach a drama or film class, someone to donate interview clothes and conduct mock interviews, or even someone to donate healthy snacks, and then research organizations that specialize in those areas.
#3: Reach Out to Companies. Some teachers are bit a shy about this, but if you want something, REACH OUT TO THE COMPANY! You will be amazed at how many companies that will donate their materials and services. Some companies may request that they can speak to teachers after school about a product, and send you free samples or give you free access to materials. Some companies will simply send the materials to you. I was always told, the worst someone can do its tell me “no”, so reach out and ask if you are interested in a specific program, text, item, etc.
Above are just a few ways that you can generate much needed resources for your students. If you would like a complete list of specific opportunities, please feel free to contact me!