AFFTON, Mo. – It’s a new year at Gotsch Intermediate School in the Affton School District. And Amanda Leslie’s third-grade classroom is stocked up and well-supplied for her first year teaching.
“I felt like I was breaking the bank a little since it was my first year,” she said. “I felt like I spent so much money. But I felt like I needed some things. (A fellow teacher) showed me this movement and I created this Amazon list and I posted it.”
Support a Teacher began on Facebook with teachers nationwide talking via social media, posting their classroom wish lists on Amazon; and then friends, family, or strangers would buy the items.
“I think it’s kind of eye-opening that teachers just love so much to do whatever they can to support their students,” said Emily Waibel, a third-grade teacher. “A lot of the time it`s something we have to purchase with our own money. Even if it’s something as silly as pencils or markers, we just want the best for our kids and a lot of the time that comes out of our own pockets.”
And sometimes it’s teachers buying items on a wish list for a teacher across the hall or across the country.
“It’s nice to feel supported but also to give back, too,” Waibel said. “I gifted somebody something as simple as a bunch of Legos and the teacher was in Texas. And she messaged me and said, ‘I don’t think you know how important these Legos are. We’re a title one school and can’t afford anything and these Legos helped encourage creativity in our class and helped us become a community.”
And chances are you can find a teacher in your community or any town with a classroom wish list this school year.