Happy September! 🍎 I’m sharing the photos and stories of 10 more teachers today in the hopes that we can help them #clearthelist!
As I mentioned last time, the underfunding of public education classrooms has been a pervasive problem for a long time—and teachers have been resorting to buying supplies on their own, even when they can’t really afford to, for decades. So in 2019, Courtney Jones, an elementary school teacher, launched a Twitter campaign called #clearthelist to help teachers in need of materials. Very quickly, it went viral. And it was hugely successful.
In many ways, it’s sad that teachers have to turn to crowdsourcing to secure basic supplies for their students. But in other ways, it’s encouraging. It goes without saying that it helps students, but it also draws attention to this long-ignored serious issue.
The #clearthelist movement has helped to fund classrooms across the country through sites like Amazon, Donors Choose (which Mitch and I relied on heavily!), and GoFundMe. And today, I’m highlighting the Amazon wish lists and projects of a few very special educators who also happen to be blog followers. (MORE TO COME!)
Please consider helping them. Every little bit makes a difference!
And thank you, educators. You are heroes.
Note: I am sharing every story that is submitted in groups of 10. I don’t have control over who decides to reach out, but I’m actively working to promote a diverse group of educators. Please pass this along to anyone and everyone who needs help. ♥️
Want your wish list featured in the next post?
In an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, include your:
Name: (First is fine.)
Title: (Example: High School Math Teacher.)
Location: (City or state.)
Story: (Bring yourself to life! What makes your situation unique? What makes your students special? Anecdotes always help, too.)
Amazon Wish List: (Link.)
Photo of yourself (Without students’ faces.)
Title: Second Grade Teacher
Story: “My name is Katie, and I am a 2nd grade teacher in Corvallis, Montana! This will be my fourth year teaching, and my first year in 2nd grade. I have taught middle school (as the only middle school teacher) in a rural school house as well as 4th grade last year at Corvallis.
I absolutely adore teaching and could not imagine my life any other way! However, this being my 4th year of teaching, I have had to move or redo my classroom every single year that I’ve been a teacher! I’m sure you know how much work this is, and every time I move rooms I seem to lose things along the way or find that I need a lot of new supplies for my new grade level.
I have worked so hard every year I have been a teacher to provide the best learning environment for my students. I have applied for local grants through our news station, and received them twice to add some fun elements to my classroom that I would be unable to afford otherwise. I spend countless hours at school before and after hours to prep for my kiddos. On top of teaching, I also volunteer to help with after-school programs and I coach high school softball in the spring.
These kiddos are my absolute world and I want to give them all that I can! With your help I will be able to start off in 2nd grade with a bang, without worrying whether or not I have the right supplies for them!
Educators simply cannot do everything they need to do on their own, and often are scared to ask for help. Thank you all so much for your help!”
Amazon Wish List: https://a.co/0ta19R4
Title: Pre-K Teacher
Location: Valley Stream, New York
Story: “My name is Dieisha, and I am going on my sixth year of teaching. I taught pre-k for three years and then 3K for two years. Now I’m going back to pre-K and I’m super excited. The items on my wish list will go towards making my classroom a fun and exciting place to be and help me stay organized—especially since I completely switched schools, districts and boroughs!”
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/MKX16I76M3YS?ref_=wl_share
Title: Fourth Grade Teacher
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Story: “My name is Sarah, and I am entering my 3rd year of teaching for a CPS school in Lakeview, Chicago!
I had two unique opportunities this last school year. First, we went through the process to change our school name. This work is reflected on my Amazon wishlist by requesting more culturally responsive books. Second, I will be moving with my students to 4th grade this coming year. With this transition, I am in need of 4th grade level texts. My students and I would be so grateful for any support in getting materials off the list!
Finally, I want to share a funny story. When telling my class I was looping to 4th grade, one student raised her hand and said ‘But Ms. Callahan, you aren’t a fourth grade teacher? How are you going to do this? We might be smarter than you.’ Wish us luck this year! 😉”
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/10JM9IARY9X57?ref_=wl_share
Story: “My name is Miegan, and I’m entering my 15th year of teaching first grade in an urban school district in Ohio. Over 70 percent of my students—or “kiddos,” as I usually call them—live below the poverty line. My kiddos are diverse, creative and amazing! They come to school from many different backgrounds which we share and learn from.
This past year was a trauma-filled one for many of my students, and considering we are in an ongoing pandemic, it should not be surprising. But through it all my kiddos amazed me with the kindness and love they showed each other. This year, I had the privilege of helping a transgender student in my class navigate her transition to a new name and public gender identity. The kiddos in my class handled her transition respectfully and without judgment. And this is the reason why I love kids so much!
On my wishlist, there are a lot of stories about acceptance, diversity and different cultures. Representation matters, and I want my kiddos to see themselves in many stories. I also included some STEM items to add to our collection. Each morning, my kiddos start the day with STEM activities as a way to express creativity in an unstructured way before the structured school day begins.
Thank you for reading my story and giving my list your consideration!”
^ “A photo of myself on the first day of school [last year], nervously waiting for my students to log into Google Meets for the first time!”
Title: Kindergarten Teacher
Story: “As a second-year Kindergarten teacher, I am still building my classroom and any and all help is greatly appreciated!
This past school year was my first year as a lead teacher! I taught 28 sweet kindergarteners from September to February remotely, and in February my kiddos and I moved into the physical space of a teacher on maternity leave, meaning that this year I am starting from the ground up with my classroom inventory.
‘Borrowing’ a classroom from February to June meant I got to see what works for me and what must-haves I will need in my own room! First and foremost, my list is filled with diversity books. I want to create a space of inclusion, acceptance, and celebration of our uniqueness! I want to build upon my current library so that all of my students have the ability to see themselves in multiple books from our shelf.
Also on my list are some ways to promote a safe learning environment. This includes sit spots (as distancing will still be necessary!), a bell to quickly and efficiently get students’ attention, and push lights to signal our volume levels. I am also looking for fluorescent light covers to reduce any agitation from bright fluorescent lights to create a calm space for my students.
I absolutely love teaching and know this is what I was born to do! <3 Donations to my classroom will provide my students the safe and inclusive learning environment they deserve to have!”
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1SXKWTIUX0N1U?ref_=wl_share
Title: Third Grade Teacher
Story: “My name is Melissa, and I am going to be a first-year teacher. I will be teaching 3rd grade in Michigan. I am so excited to start my teaching journey and to help lifelong learners on their paths!
It has been a dream of mine to be a teacher since I was a little girl. And now my ‘school room’ at home is turning into a real classroom in a school with REAL students!
With my Amazon wishlist, I hope to create a welcoming and positive classroom environment for all of my students. I want to make sure that I reach each and every student and their learning style! Along with that, I want to make sure that all of my students have the supplies that they need so they can succeed in the classroom. :)
Something that I am passionate about is creating a safe and calming space for students while they are in my classroom. There are various items on my list that would be put into my ‘Calming Corner.’ This is a space for students to check in with their social emotional needs/learning and to take a break.
With all of this being said, being a first year teacher can be overwhelming thinking of all the supplies and materials that I need. Any donations would be greatly appreciated! My third graders and I say thank you in advance!”
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2FUECL41R9KV9?ref_=wl_share
Title: High School Special Education Teacher
Story: “My name is Janelle, and I’m getting ready to start my 14th year teaching high school special education. I absolutely love teaching and love when you see the it all click. I love the relationship-building and teaching the students lessons beyond the classroom.
This year, I’m teaching some brand new classes that relate to real-world skills. I’m so excited to implement some fun new ideas (community trips, budgeting, earning a paycheck, etc.) and getting my Amazon wishlist filled would help me greatly. My students deserve the absolute best and I hope to make this year the best ever. Thank you for taking the time to consider my wishlist!”
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2U6HWU16KXAUR?ref_=wl_share
Title: Special Eduction Teacher
Location: Queens, New York
Story: “My name is Jacqueline, and I am a special education teacher in Queens. I have two dogs who are my children and love animals!
The majority of my class is considered medically fragile, so they have been out since March. (They were in kindergarten last year.) I really want to do everything I can to get them back on track academically and socially because they are so far behind. [Having my list funded] would be SUCH a great help! Thank you!”
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1UJPET7XWFPY2?ref_=wl_share
Title: AM/PM Kindergarten Teacher
Story: “My name is Michele, and this is my seventh year teaching AM/PM kindergarten in central Ohio. I was selected to teach kindergarten remotely all of last year, and I am looking forward to welcoming students back into my [physical] classroom this school year!
I teach at an elementary school with students of many different cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and experiences, and I am constantly learning about the world from my students. Students deserve to feel welcomed and represented in their classroom.
With the supplies and books included in my Amazon Wishlist, my goal is to create an environment that fosters learning for my diverse group of learners. Thank you!”
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1JE50LR8C9MC9?ref_=wl_share
Title: High School Math Teacher
Story: “I am going into my seventh year of teaching and so excited to welcome kids back! I am teaching Algebra 1 and Geometry to freshmen. I love making real-world connections with kids and seeing their love of math grow. A phrase you will hear often in my class is ‘whoa! class is already over?'”
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/MY6DAMJGSYF4?ref_=wl_share