- by Katelyn June Kaiser

This year, I will be starting my eighth year as a contracted teacher. I have worked in four different schools and have taught every grade from sixth through twelfth. I teach English, which is a lot of pressure in today’s high-stakes testing world. I mean, important life skill alert: they need to know the difference in high-steaks and high-stakes! But I love it, and I love my kids.

As we have seen a lot in the news, teachers don't get paid a lot of money. It kind of sucks, but I did not go into teaching to get rich. And I knew this going into it but one thing I didn't realize was how much of my personal income goes back into my classroom. On my taxes, I can claim that I spent $200 in classroom supplies. While that does help a little, it doesn't even come close to covering everything I need to do my job successfully.

Do you want your child's classroom to look like this?
Gilles Glod

A teacher will go out and spend hundreds of dollars a year on basic classroom supplies like pencils and paper for kids to use. If a teacher wants to do something creative that their kids will enjoy, that comes out of our pockets, as well. If children show up to class hungry because they did not eat breakfast (which is a common problem), the teacher usually has something to give them that he or she bought.  And if a teacher wants to make his or her classroom more of a colorful creatives space and less like a prison cell, guess who pays for that. Teachers supply posters, charts, baskets to collect homework and other essential organizational items as well so their classrooms are an organized and kids aren't trying to learn in chaos. Teachers often go to yard sales, Goodwill, look online, go to clearance racks, and rummage through anything or anywhere else to collect different things that they can use in their classroom every summer because, most of the time, each new school year needs a fresh supply of these items because they are destroyed before the end of the year. I will not complain. I love what I do. Teachers were superheroes to me when I was growing up and I always dreamed of having my own classroom that I could make extra special for my kids the way that my teachers did for me. But, I... we need help!

This year, there are two groups working to help teachers in our area. The Teacher Locker is working to support the K-6 teachers and The Salvation Army is working to support the 7-12 teachers. Their plan is to come together after this summer and support all of the teachers in the area. I am working with Alex Rahman at the Salvation Army. He came to me this summer asking about ideas for what teachers need in their classroom and we compiled a list of items suggested by my fellow teacher friends.

As kids get older, I have seen fewer supplies sent with each youngster to school. I remember teaching sixth grade and having piles  of supplies sent to me by gracious parents who would check in throughout the year making sure I did not need anything for the classroom. Now that I am with older kids in the high school setting, it's essential to always have an extra supply of things like notebooks, pencils, and other basic supplies handy. Because, teenagers...

We need our community's help to rally around teachers and help provide essential items in our classrooms. And, I totally get it - you feel overwhelmed with the seemingly never-ending list of items on your child's school supply list. But, if you just pick up two packs of an item or snag some items that are on super-sale, you'd be really helping out your friendly neighborhood teachers!

You can drop off items at the Salvation Army’s Stuff the Bus event on August 3rd at local Walmarts in Warrick and Vanderburgh County. Items can be dropped off any time during the day! 

The Salvation Army will be working with four area Walmart locations to collect school supplies on Saturday -August 3, 2019. Those collection locations are:

Walmart-335 S. Redbank Rd. Evansville, IN
Walmart -401 N. Burkhardt Rd. Evansville, IN
Walmart -8599 High Pointe Dr.Newburgh, IN
Walmart -1115 American Way, Boonville, IN

The Salvation Army will be on site from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to receive school supplies to be given to area teachers for their students in Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties. The focus of this drive for school supplies is grades 7-12.  A list of prescribed items are listed below.

Supplies Requested:

  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Post-it notes
  • Notebooks 
  • Folders (With and without prongs)
  • Notecards
  • Highlighters
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Rags for dry erase markers
  • Sharpees
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Glue
  • Scissors 
  • Copy paper (colored or white)