Many first-year teachers are walking into nearly empty classrooms this fall, only to find out that they’re responsible for stocking them with supplies. This problem affects both teachers and their students, so AdoptAClassroom.org is lending a hand with our Twin Cities, MN and Columbus, OH First-Year Teacher Funds.
With these funds, new teachers working for Twin Cities, Minnesota and Columbus, Ohio school districts can register to receive financial support for their classrooms. Registration only takes about ten minutes to complete, and the funds will be evenly distributed to all first-year teachers who sign up by October 15, 2016.
Our First-Year Teachers program piloted in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2014. That year, each first-year teacher who registered with AdoptAClassroom.org received $200 to start their teaching career out on the right foot.
According to a survey by AdoptAClassroom.org, 91 percent of teachers responding purchase classroom supplies out of their own pockets, spending an average of $600 per year. Donations made to this fund will help alleviate the financial stress first-year teachers are feeling in the Twin Cities and Columbus communities.
Most new teachers don’t realize how few supplies they will have access to until they enter their classroom for the first time. Fourth grade science teacher Kymberli had no idea she would be spending more than $500 to provide her students with basic materials such as crayons, glue sticks, scissors, books, ink, and lamination sheets.
“I didn’t really know what to expect as a first-year teacher,” said Kymberli. “I wasn’t sure until I went to my classroom what I was actually going to get and what I had to buy myself.”
The average starting salary for U.S. teachers is $36,141, and many of them graduate with thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Despite their modest starting salary, teachers like Kymberli are still expected to spend hundreds of dollars each year purchasing important classroom materials. Forty to fifty percent of teachers leave the classroom within their first five years, which is why it’s important to give new teachers the support they need as early as possible.
Today’s students are our nation’s future leaders, and they need strong, consistent role models to educate and guide them. To ensure the success of Twin Cities and Columbus students, join us in helping first-year teachers who need a hand.