I have huge respect for teachers. The classroom seems to be a different place than it was when I was a kid. I don’t think they have nap time anymore in kindergarten and kids with special challenges … well, they’re a challenge, aren’t they? And yet the teachers that I know are dedicated, compassionate, caring people. (I know, I know, there are always a few teachers out there who should have gone into… logging, say, but let’s not think about those teachers.)
Another change has been the way classrooms are funded. I remember getting books and pens from my teacher and all I had to buy was a school bag. These days, it seems teachers have to stock a lot of items in their classrooms, which could cost a ruddy fortune.
But not if you shop thrift! I volunteer in the toy department and this week, as I was stocking shelves I kept picking up stuff and thinking “if I was an elementary school teacher, I would so buy this.” Flash cards, puzzles, memory games, math games, brain teasers… these things come into the thrift shop ALL THE TIME. Here’s a sampling of what I picked off the shelf.
My favourite piece is the map of Canada puzzle. Isn’t it cool?
The other obvious thing to look for at thrift shops would be picture story books and craft supplies. Wool bits, fabric or felt scraps, wrapping paper and magazines for collaging. Scissors, crayons for melting, used greeting cards… you’re really only limited by your own imagination.
Are you a teacher? If so, what’s your biggest teaching challenge? Do you ever get stuff for your classroom at a thrift shop?
New Year’s Resolution Update: My resolution is to spend no more than $20 a month and for every item bought something has to go back to the thrift shop. This week I bought this little blue umbrella for $1.50 as a decoration for a wedding shower (it was “something blue”) – a Christmas puzzle will go back next week!