Teachers turn to online wishlists to help stock classrooms ahead of school year

MADISON, Wis. — As teachers are getting ready to welcome kids back to school, more and more of them are asking for help.

Instead of paying for supplies themselves, they’re going to social media and asking friends and family to chip in.

“Teachers always spend a lot out of pocket of their own money,” elementary school teacher Janessa Anderson said. “You’re given a budget for the year of what you can spend, and it’s usually like $200.”

Anderson says she teaches because she loves kids, and loves helping them learn and grow.

“Some of them really need that relationship with teachers,” Anderson said.

But there are many items needed that don’t appear on a Back to School supply shopping list and come out of a teacher’s pocket.

“To make a happy, engaging classroom where kids feel safe and they belong and they’re ready for learning, we need to have things they’re interested in and make them feel welcomed,” Anderson said. “It would be great if schools could pay for it, but I know they don’t have the budget.”

Anderson says the things she’s looking for include storage bins, games for indoor recess days, and fidget toys for her “take a break” area.

You can find her Amazon wishlist here.