As the school year has just began for our family, I have been thinking a lot about ways to help your child’s teacher, or in my case, teachers. Our school district has been having a lot of budget issues, and I know that the teachers have been carrying the burden of it. For that reason, I am more committed than ever to show my appreciation to my kids’ teachers by helping out in whatever way I can.
Here are a few ideas that I brainstormed to help your child’s teacher and school this year.
1. Collecting Box Tops: This is such a simple, yet effective way to bring real cash into the school, without costing me anything except a little bit of organization.
Most of the products that contain Box Tops are items that I already buy for my kids, like multi-grain Cheerios, Annie’s homegrown Organic cocoa bunnies cereal and Annie’s Homegrown Macaroni and Cheeses. I recently picked these household staples up at a Costco Store near me, and was happy to find out that they each had 8 box tops for me to donate to my school!
Plus right now Costco is holding a “Golden Box Tops Challenge”. By purchasing specially marked General Mills products with 8 Box Tops at Costco you can enter to win an additional 100 eBoxTops for your school. Check out the website for more info on how enter.
2. Bring in Extra Supplies: I know that this time of year can get expensive , but I know that the money that I am spending on back-to-school supplies is very minor compared to how much money teachers put into their classroom supplies. For that reason while I was at Costco I also picked up an extra box of Ziploc Bags, an item from our teacher’s “need list”, to donate (Bonus! This was another item that had 8 box tops on it). I have also set a reminder in my phone to buy one extra item from the “need list” every month. I’m sure that as the year wears on that the “need list” will become even more of a necessity.
3. Donate My Time: Teachers put in so much time before and after school that isn’t even part of regular classroom time. I want to help ease my our teacher’s workload by offering to help out. If my teacher doesn’t need help during classroom time, I can even offer to help cut out craft projects or grade papers at home.
4. Be a Proactive Parent: Because I run a preschool program myself, I know how much time and effort goes into making sure that permission slips, newsletters, and special event requests go out to parents. I also know how much work it is to stay on top of parents who seem to have a hard time returning the permission forms, or remembering the dates and announcements on the newsletter. I know what a weight it takes off of teachers by having proactive, organized parents, so I am striving to do better in that department myself this year.
5. Support School Fundraisers- I know, I know… We all hate getting those little catalogs of candles or candy bars that we are supposed to walk around and get neighbors and friends to buy. However, school fundraisers are a really good way to show support for the school. I usually try to choose two school fundraisers to support per year (for us it’s the “Fall Festival” and “Spring Spaghetti Dinner”). By donating my time and supplies to these I feel that I am helping to support our school (and don’t feel so guilty about not selling any candles).
Teachers go above and beyond, every day to make the school year exciting for our kids. Choose a few practical ways to go above and beyond as a parent so that you can show your appreciation for them this school year.