As a teacher I often scroll through social media to connect myself with other educators. I got great ideas for my AP Lit class, some fun memes on grammar, and followed up with some great educators. Recently, I noticed a hashtag that I often see at this time of year and on my way back from school: #clearthelist.
The hashtag took me to post after the teachers post so people were asked to click on their Amazon Favorites list. You’ve probably seen the posts too. Maybe you made a post yourself.
Whatever it is, you know teachers don’t want anything for themselves. They are asking for the basics: sensitive rings, pencils, books, highlighters, even paper. Teachers are promoting themselves on social media and it is both inspiring and frustrating.
Why #Clearthelist is needed in 2022?
The reality is that teachers are taking steps to close a very real funding gap. While some teachers get a decent budget to cover supplies, others don’t. And we’re not talking about teachers asking for “fancy” extras like field trips or iPads. We’re talking about things like copy paper, crayons, and even soap for the restroom
I don’t want to tell you that teachers don’t make enough money to cover these supplies themselves. But they average $ 500 per year from their own pockets.
Why do teachers pay for supplies out of pocket?
This is a complex question. First, teachers want the best for their students. If my school doesn’t pay for classroom books or hands-on supplies, I’ll find them elsewhere because I know they need these things to be successful. Second, the narrative that teaching is a “call” to pay for the supply of teachers. Somehow leaving has been seen as part of the job.
But here’s the thing: When was the last time an online fundraiser for Handcuffs was raised by law enforcement? Can you imagine a hashtag to buy Fire Hose? It sounds ridiculous, but then why just buy their own supplies for teachers?
Celebrities have fueled the #Clearthelist movement.
In fact, celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Kristen Bell are appearing on social media tags from teachers, while author Jody Picolt’s Twitter page is full of retweeting lists. And I am grateful for the support of these well-known people. They have brought a lot of attention to the fact that teachers themselves are paying so much.
I hope that by encouraging their followers to #clearthelist, we can get a new hashtag trending and #fundourschools.
Education is vital for a functioning society.
Without academics we would not have doctors, first responders, engineers, entrepreneurs… the list goes on. And time, patience, creativity and yes, to build these future leaders Supply. I’m concerned that #Clearthelist helps teachers normalize payments for that supply. But in the meantime, I have an empty classroom and a crowd of students is on my way. That’s why I started my own #Clearthelist campaign on Twitter.