How You Can Help ‘Support A Teacher’ Provide for Students Across the US
“As a first year teacher, I am coming into the profession with no materials. Through this movement, I have been blessed to receive gifts from perfect strangers — some teachers, some in other professions, and even one celebrity.”
Under-funding, deteriorating textbooks, low wages, lack of support staff, and oversized classrooms were several reasons behind the wave of teacher strikes across the United States in 2019. The states of Virginia and West Virginia saw teachers strike; Denver, Colorado, Los Angeles and Oakland in California were also sights of major teacher strikes.
While each strike ended with slightly better working conditions for teachers, many continue to face issues with under-funding, which keeps classrooms from having all the necessary materials to meet the needs of intellectually curious students.
What Is Support a Teacher & #ClearTheLists?
With classroom budgets being tight around the nation, teachers often have to use their own money to purchase items their students need to succeed. Courtney Jones an education activist and in her third year of teaching in Tyler County, Texas, where she teaches elementary school math created the Support a Teacher movement to help teachers in the classroom. From the organization website:
Our mission is to support teachers nationwide in their careers by providing opportunities to give and receive gifts, collaborate with other teachers, and feel welcomed in a community of like-minded people. Spreading a simple gift of love can provide teachers with love, a rejuvenation of ideas, a warm and safe place to ask questions and to be heard, and much more.
The movement has spread to several social media platforms and has already helped many teachers meet their classroom needs. Tweets from several of the teachers that include links to their wish lists are featured below.
Please RT! These are some of my most needed items! 14 items all under $20 each! Please RT! The students I teach come from a tough home life w/ a high poverty rate. I teach 7th/8th grade science in a title 1 school! Thank you! #clearthelists #shrinkthelist https://t.co/pH1ppKeLsG pic.twitter.com/NoMMqS9BUP
— CYNTHIA MILLER, science teacher (@CMiller_teacher) September 26, 2019
Just received our very first item from our classroom wishlist! Let’s keep it going! RT for a RT and let’s clear those lists! #clearthelists #support_a_teacher #shrinkthelists #thirdgrade https://t.co/vSdllVcr63 pic.twitter.com/4zZcaOPLg0
— Taryn Mahoney (@taryn_teach) September 23, 2019
I teach an amazing, diverse group of grade 4-6 kiddos. They love books, art, science, & our calm down space, which is reflected in my wishlist. Thank you for taking the time to RT & help me #clearthelist! https://t.co/loUzBylCN5 #clearthelists #support_a_teacher #teachertwitter pic.twitter.com/gDeqGAi6vg
— Lindsey Fuller (@linlin8) September 20, 2019
Hi! ?? Disney loving #geometryteacher that ❤ to help my students conquer their math fears and see their confidence ?!Help me continue to be a?♀️ by checking out my classroom wishlist. TY! #support_a_teacher #helpateacher https://t.co/U279zd7Hbc pic.twitter.com/Y2o8vPcomc
— B. McHaney aka Ms. Mac. ??➗➖➕ (@beingfabulous83) September 22, 2019
I’ve just been enjoying the movement and getting to know other teachers. Time to share my snack wishlist. We have a snack time every day in our 2nd grade classroom. I’d appreciate help or a RT. Thank you! #clearthelist @support_a_teach #shrinkthelists https://t.co/HOOrUpqgOn pic.twitter.com/LmBsvicJ3y
— Terry Peterson (@262Peterson) September 22, 2019
Two students will be excited for Glass Sword and Crossover tomorrow. When they want to read, you buy novels! Any help with getting novels in their hands is appreciated! #clearthelists #support_a_teacher https://t.co/pImg26LUSW pic.twitter.com/JkOB8YYBKe
— Laura Norwood (@funlolly) September 26, 2019
My nephew started his first year as a Middle School Science teacher and could really use some help setting up his classroom so he started a wishlist – click this link if you would like to help https://t.co/F7dp77Z5hO
— Christine Colardo (@ccolardo30) September 26, 2019
I was transferred a couple of weeks ago to a different school & grade level! Now I’m in a portable! Please help me make this feel welcoming to my students! I need some basic items & snacks/treats! #clearthelists #clearthelist https://t.co/ziVkVpznzf pic.twitter.com/RUyVUt5nqj
— Kiersty Wright (@kiersty_wright) September 10, 2019
My Kidergarten English learners are off to a great start. In my small group I have students who speak 6 different languages. Two of my students are new to the U.S and are super excited to learn English and interact with their peers. #clearmylist #BPSproud#kindergartenrules https://t.co/Xh1sMYy9gW
— Claudine Milano (@milano_claudine) September 23, 2019
— Adyam25pr ?? ???? (@adyam25) September 25, 2019
How It All Began and the Positive Impact
“On July 1 I created a small Facebook group called Support a Teacher and in about a week’s time we grew beyond 10,000 members. In two weeks, we had 20,000,” Courtney Jones told NBC News in late August. “Mainly, it was teachers to teachers. I said we need to get the public involved, so I said let’s go to Twitter. So we used the hashtag #ClearTheLists.”
The following are several Impact Stories featured on the Support a Teacher website detailing the good work of the organization.
From Sara Martel, a 6th-grade teacher in Texas.
“Without #clearthelists I would not have been able to get the basic supplies my kiddos need like highlighters, glue sticks, tissues and pencils…as well as items to make them more comfortable like wobble cushions and, of course, all the books. My family had a financial setback when my boyfriend was laid off for three months, so it just wouldn’t have been able to happen this year. #clearthelists made it so my kiddos have everything they need to be successful, and then some!”
Major concerns with education: “Supply funding and lack of prep time are definitely at the top of my list.”
Yearly Budget from District:”$150″
From Lorraine Wilson, a 6th-grade teacher in Maryland.
“As a first year teacher, I am coming into the profession with no materials. Through this movement, I have been blessed to receive gifts from perfect strangers — some teachers, some in other professions, and even one celebrity. I’ve also gifted 15 teachers…something that brings me as much joy as receiving packages! The most rewarding part, though, has by far been the connections I’ve made with other educators across the country. These lifelong connections will last far beyond the day the last pencil point meets the base of the donated eraser.”
Major concerns with education: “I’m concerned about class sizes, limited resources for ELL students, and supply funding.”
Yearly Budget from District:”$0″
The wish lists mentioned within the article along with a #ClearTheLists fundraising page are linked below.