When you think about teacher resources, what comes to mind? As a teacher, I am always searching for supplies and teacher resources that will enhance my teaching ability and provide me with knowledge on a wide range of subjects. Teacher resources encompass many things ranging from teaching supplies to activity resources and professional reading materials. At the beginning of my teaching career, I wanted to buy everything. I soon learned that it was very expensive to buy supplemental teacher resources out of my own budget. Recently I have learned how to utilize the materials that the school provides and carefully assess my needs and by the teaching materials that will benefit my classroom and my teaching needs.
First, I ask myself if the school has the teacher resources that I need. Many schools have access to book rooms, libraries, and supply rooms that house materials that are not currently being used. Check those areas out and network with your fellow teachers.
In addition to looking for supplies at your own school, check with other schools or offices in your district. There are often district facilities that store unused materials that are available for checkout. This is often the case for science and social studies curriculum and materials. Some of the materials used to teach these subjects can be costly, so it is more cost efficient to share.
Don't forget to plan ahead. I tend to spend more money out of my pocket when I am not prepared and need something at the last minute. There are always classroom needs that I purchase at certain times of the year, such as back to school supplies, seasonal products, and classroom decorations. However, when I need to purchase an expensive item unexpectedly, it makes it difficult to purchase all of the items I need. When I plan ahead, I am in a much better position to buy classroom supplies.