Getting funding to purchase curriculum in your special education classroom can be daunting- but it’s not impossible. There are so many things that teachers are expected to purchase themselves. Many of our classrooms would be absolutely empty if we put in zero money of our own. I am sharing some tips on getting funding, materials, books, toys, and furniture for your classroom with no cost to you in this blog post!
ASK YOUR ADMIN. First things first you want to make sure you sent that email I asked you to send at the beginning of this module. Ask your admin what curriculum is available, and if there is any money for you to purchase materials for your classroom. I went 2 years before I knew I had some classroom money I could use… womp. I would also specifically ask about prep materials like velcro and lamination.Spend the school money on prep materials that you can leave behind in case you get a new job. That way the money YOU spend is on things that last forever and you can take with you wherever you go next.
Amazon Wish List: You would be surprised at how well an amazon wish list works. I suggest adding the items you need to an amazon wish list for mom, dad, or auntie Barbara, to send you to help get your new classroom started off on the right foot. You can share the link via an email, or have your parents share it for you. Many people would be happy to donate to a new teachers classroom, I know I ALWAYS donate when I see a classroom wish list on facebook!
Many of you told me that you are recent grads! YAY and congrats to all of you. I suggest asking your family for materials on your amazon wish list for a graduation gift. (Check out my amazon store for all of my favorites for ideas!) You could even make it like a registry and give the link out on the invite (seriously you can never have enough of those prep materials!)
Donors Choose: Sign up for donors choose and create a project! Summer is a great time to do this and donors love our population! Please share your donors choose link in our course facebook group so we can share, donate, or just pump each other up. My first project I got velcro, crayons, and some books. My next one I got tons of sensory items. I have even got ball chairs and iPads! Donors choose is definitely a great way to go!
TPT has their own type of crowdfunding now as well! With TPT classfund you can create a campaign and share the same way as donor’s choose and get money to use on curriculum and materials from teacherspayteachers. The best part? You don’t need to meet your goal before you get the funds, you can start using it as soon as you get it!
Apply for Grants:
Grants are a great way to get funds for things you need for the classroom. It just takes a little patience, research, and perseverance. I have personally used them to fund basic classroom supplies, field trips, sensory equipment, appliances for the life skills classroom, our school garden, and even our classroom run food pantry. Because of the funds we have received, my teaching, and my students’ learning have been enhanced dramatically. Read more about how Kate received Grants and where to look for them in this blog post.
Ask for Used Donations:
Facebook is a great place to ask for donations, and facebook yard sales are even better. Especially for younger grades. Search for toys, games, shelving, curriculum and books here! Also post on your own page and let your friends know what you are looking for! You never know what you will find! If you mention you are a new teacher they will often donate for free. I have gotten tons of furniture this way.
Splurge Now and rest later:
So if none of the above works for you (come on some of those ideas must) or you just need this stuff NOW think of it this way: The better prepared, organized, and structured you are when school starts, the better off your students will be, the happier your admin will be, and the the more the parents will love you. It might take a little money to get you off your feet (all teachers experience this) but it will be worth it. I promise.
Do you have any tips for getting curriculum funded? Share with us in the comments section!