A teacher friend was reflecting on a problem in her classroom.
So, she crowd-sourced the problem on Facebook.
Retired nearly seven years, I envied her the ability to do that.
She teaches young ones and this year they come in to her room from lunch all wired. She was looking for suggestions on how she could calm things down before heading into the first lesson of the afternoon.
Lunch rooms are loud places that are near perfectly designed with acoustics that turn a whisper into a scream. And nobody is whispering.
My friend got tons of suggestions.
That is so great.
As a retired Art teacher, I suggested making sketch books and supplying how-to-draw books.
The how-to-draw books might raise an eyebrow or two from Art teacher colleagues of mine who think they are too restrictive and prescriptive.
But over the years I bought hundreds of them for students who finished up early on a classroom project. They would grab their sketch book and a book by Ed Emberley or some other one and I didn’t have to worry about a thing.
My students loved it.
Someone else commented on the thread that she cut the books up so that they were turned into individual pages and then she put them in a 3-ring binder.
It is a brilliant idea to prevent arguments over who got which how-to book.
I will use that brilliant idea in my next teaching life.
My collection of how-to-draw books, collected, shredded and ripped up, used up and repurchased must have exceeded hundreds, all kept in plastic bins.
I purchased them all out of pocket. Literally thousands of dollars over the years. I was able to deduct $250 from federal taxes. I received a $75 check each year from the parent group. But I spent – oh, I have no specific dollar amount. – on art supplies and stuff for my room.
No way was I unique.
That’s crazy low.
Who keeps count?
Keep receipts for money that was not going to be reimbursed?
Some have estimated a billion dollars a year is spent by teachers on supplies for their own classrooms. I think that is lowballing it.
But even that low figure is a billion dollar a year teacher subsidy to public schools.
And that is true in red states and blue.
Just something to keep in mind as teachers bargain raises again this year.