Helping You Offset Classroom Costs

Extra pencils
Crayons
Highlighters
Sticky notes
Anchor charts
Bulletin board supplies
Sticky tack
Pens
Dry erase markers and erasers 
Classroom books

Just a small list of must-haves at the start of a new school year for teachers, no matter how long they’ve been teaching! Supplies wear out, get lost, or break and every year a new list must be written. But where’s the flaw in this? Teachers aren’t buying these supplies and turning in their expense reports to the principal to be reimbursed. They aren’t turning their lists of supplies into the secretary to order, either. Teachers are paying out of pocket for their supplies each year, and let’s be honest, they don’t get paid enough to do that! 

It’s a broken system, and it’s unfair to teachers everywhere. But until something changes, here are a few tips to keep your personal costs down when it comes to supplying your classroom with what it needs. 

Make a list of wants vs needs. Do you NEED borders for your bulletin boards in order for your students to learn and grow? No! If you are able to buy them, great! If not, don’t stress. Have your students create some for you! Be very reasonable with yourself on what your classroom wants and what it actually needs. 

Ask family, friends, and neighbors to donate to your classroom. Creating an Amazon wishlist is a great option for them to know exactly what you need and gives them the ability to support you in an easy, convenient way. Read more about #ClearTheList here

Enlist parents of your students to help. Tell them your classroom needs and give them the option to donate if they can! 

DIY instead of buy! Target has great book bins, but a quick Pinterest search gives you plenty of ideas on how to make them yourself out of recycled material. Bonus that you are recycling! 

Create a Donors Choose to help raise funds for the bigger projects/ needs of your classroom. 

Reach out to your school and district to see what they are willing to supply and what else falls on you. Some schools are willing to chip in a certain amount of supplies and some schools are not able to supply anything. It’s worth it to ask! 

What else do you do to offset the costs of school supplies for your classroom? 

Questions To Ask At Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences can be an overwhelming time for parents. What do I need to be prepared for? What will my child’s teacher say about them? And one of the most daunting questions- what questions do I ask? Here is a list of thought-provoking questions you can bring to parent-teacher conferences with you to get the most out of your experience. 

How is his/her/their social development? 

Are there any concerns I should have? 

What can I do to support my child’s academics at home? 

What can I do to support you as my child’s teacher? 

Is your classroom in need of any school supplies? 

What is something my child did really well this week/month? 

What type of workload can we expect from this class moving forward? 

What strengths and weaknesses does my child have in your classroom? 

And then of course questions specifically for you:

What is the best way to get in contact with you if I need anything? 

Can I talk to you about this concern I have? 

Do you know about this situation my son/daughter has going on at home?  

Is there anything else going on in the classroom that I need to know about?

A Peek Into The Alpha Phi Scholarship Foundation

alpha phi scholarship program spotlight

Not only is Alpha Phi an incredible organization for the service and leadership they provide, but they also offer scholarships for academics. The stories that come from the students receiving the scholarships are incredibly moving and absolutely worth noting. They have been offering them since 1959 and continue to do so today. 

Alpha Phi is aware of the rising costs of higher education and wants to assist its members with funding it as much as possible. 

“Samantha Bliss Mullin (Theta Tau–Rensselaer) shared that although she “knew it was a good decision to get a graduate degree, the reality of the cost of education was pretty daunting.” Now able to focus on her graduate research and worry less about her financial obligations with the help of a Alpha Phi Foundation scholarship in 2017, Samantha went on to finish graduate degree on an accelerated track.”

-Alex Goodman alphaphifoundation.org

They are able to fund these scholarships through generous donations, mostly from the alumni of Alpha Phi. You can read more of Alex’s story highlighting their scholarship program on their website.

A New Page Just for Personality Typing in the Classroom

Over the last few years of writing for this blog, I’ve featured a variety of different personality typing and how to use the knowledge of these in your classrooms. They’ve become more and more popular posts over time. Today I wanted to share it with you, my new page chucked full of this information for you! 

On the page, you will see buttons with links to each different personality series. Clicking these links will bring you to a new page where you have easy access to the different personality types in that category and the articles on using the knowledge of this in your classroom. 

You can find the new page here. 

Have you started using personality typing in your classroom? Which test do you prefer, and how has it helped you as a teacher? 

Maybe We Don’t Need To Be Worried About Our Future

the youth of our future is inspiring

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time talking and interacting with high school-aged students. This has been through our recent scholarship, through serving the youth of my community, and through visiting high schools to spread the word about our 2022 scholarship

I’ll have to admit, the last time I spent this much time with kids ages 14-18 was when I was that age! Though I’m not too far off in age from them (about ten years their elder), I still have felt a disconnect to this age and culture that I’ve had to reprogram my brain to figure out. And like the majority of our society, I originally looked at this age group and was worried about our future! The way they talked, dressed, thought, and even walked had me worried that someday our world would be run to the ground by these children when they turned into the adults that would be the leaders of the country. 

However, after more interactions and more conversations, my thoughts on their future flipped. 

Though they walked and talked and interacted differently than what I was used to, they are still filled with big ideas and dreams, and hopes for the future. They are still amazing leaders with budding skills on how to work together as a team to accomplish tasks they need to be done. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and check out our past winner’s page for our scholarship. There are 7 OUTSTANDING students that noticed a problem in their community and set out to solve it, whether in a group or by themselves with a mentor’s help. And these are just the winners! I read through dozens and dozens of applications with similar drives to help their community in some way. There was not one single application that did not deserve some recognition for the work they were doing, they were all inspiring. So you can imagine, choosing a winner was very, very hard. 

And this was just my interactions with high school-aged students applying for a scholarship. I’ve also been able to interact with the youth of my community through service in my church, as well as brief interactions with this age of kids in high schools. And yes, I will still always question why they are so into TikTok or why crop tops are the shirt of choice right now?? But the coolest thing about the human race is that we don’t all have to think, act, and dress alike to get along or understand one another. 

These 14-18-year-olds are coming into our society with newfound knowledge of technology, social media, teamwork skills, and more than we as older generations cannot comprehend or will never know. 

So, maybe we really don’t need to be worried about our future. Maybe this TikTok, crop top generation has a thing or two to teach us about life. 

Why Do I Write About Personality Typing in Education?

why do I write about personality typing in education?

I’ve worked on multiple blog series on this page about personality typing and how to use it in the classroom. You can see them here: 

Myers-Briggs 

Enneagram 

The Child Whisperer

Some may wonder why writing about these different personality types and why they can be beneficial in the classroom. The reason I’ve written about multiple types of personality testing is that I know some personality tests make more sense than others. One person may prefer to use Myers-Briggs while another prefers to study The Child Whisperer. But how can they help in the classroom? 

It helps us have empathy for our students. 

It gives us a little inside window into their brains and the decisions they are making. 

It helps us learn more about ourselves as well. 

It reminds us that we are all different with different goals, thoughts, and priorities. 

It can motivate you to learn more about not only your students, but coworkers, family members, and more! 

It paints a picture in our minds that we all have different personalities and each of them works together in different ways to create the world we live in. 

There are so many benefits to learning more about different personality tests and using them in your classroom. What benefits have you found? 

The Reasons Behind the Substitute Teacher Shortage & How to Support Them

substitute teacher shortage and how to support substitute teachers

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on my internal conflict of becoming a substitute teacher this next school year because of the substitute teacher shortage. After a lot of debate and back and forth, I ultimately decided it wasn’t in the cards for me this year, but I will continue to always keep it in the back of my mind. 

But let’s talk about this substitute teacher shortage! Why is there such a lack of subs right now (and let’s be honest, always!) Here were a few reasons I could think of: 

Concerns about sickness, in general, and specifically during a pandemic. Schools are breeding grounds for germs! 

It doesn’t typically come with the benefit of guaranteed hours. 

Oftentimes, it doesn’t even come with benefits! 

A lack of knowledge that our schools need subs. 

The lack of childcare for parents to sub while they still have kids not school-aged yet. 

It’s sad that we are dealing with a shortage in an area that could be one of the most important. If a teacher cannot find a sub for their class, it could mean coming into the classroom to teach while incredibly sick, causing more spread of sickness. It could mean overcrowded classrooms while other teachers take on the responsibility of the class. Ultimately, it means scrambling to find a way to keep the kids occupied and safe while the teacher is out, instead of focusing on academics and social skills, like a classroom should be. 

Here are a few ways we can support substitute teachers, teachers, and schools in general: 

Keep our classrooms and schools as clean and germ-free as possible. 

Appreciate our subs! They do not make much money, typically, and do not have benefits from their job. 

Spread the word about our lack of substitute teachers that may need extra income or have time to step in and help sub. 

Offer childcare for those that have the time to sub, but maybe cannot find proper childcare. 

How do you support substitute teachers in your community?