In an ideal world, teachers would have unlimited funds to purchase materials that are necessary for the changing needs of students. In an ideal world, teachers would have unlimited time to devote to writing grants and lesson plans.
This is not an ideal world. We’re not there yet. There’s a popular bumper sticker that declares, “It will be a great day when the schools have all the money then need, and the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.” Until that dreamed of day when time and resources are abundant, tough choices will have to be made in schools across the country.
In all but the most elite international schools, educators have had to beg and borrow ever since the first schoolhouses were erected. Being ever so resourceful, teachers buy used equipment and exchange ideas with each other in lieu of purchasing brand new supplies or buying brand new materials.
With the advent of the Internet, it’s now possible for educators to barter and exchange with teachers from around the world. This opens up new possibilities and avenues. No school is an island unto itself anymore.
Although it’s unfair, teachers will have to continue to purchase basic supplies – staplers, pencils, educational games, and books – out of their own paychecks. There aren’t enough private donors willing to help with the little details, and the government is only willing to part with the bare minimum for supplies. Many teachers spend their allotted classroom budget on basic necessities before the year even gets off to a start.
How will educators continue to make their rooms function on a dime? Just as they always have, teachers will do it by working together and sharing resources. And they will make it look easy, when behind the scenes, it’s anything but easy.
Although the situation seems dire, educators do have options. It’s all about sharing ideas. Educators can now make extra money by selling their materials and services to others across the country on the Internet. The idea is to pay it forward. By selling freelance work to others, teachers can improve the lot of other schools and share their talents. When time is tighter than money, teachers can opt to buy services from other freelancers.
Thanks to technology, educators can buy and sell materials and services from one another, thus closing the time/money gap. By linking with other educators, teachers can make the best out of a bad situation.