KANSAS, Ill. (WCIA) — As parents prepare for back-to-school week, so are teachers. But they have more on their supply list and it’s harder to check things off.
One teacher was able to find help through a Facebook hashtag.
Ashley Burns is a fourth-grade teacher at Kansas Elementary School, and this is the first year she’s able to decorate her classroom since COVID.
“As a teacher and our students, we spend most of our time in the classroom,” Burns said. “We’re here all day, every day. We want students to want to be here. We want to be comfortable. We want them to feel at home.”
But making the kids feel cozy in the classroom can be hard on a teacher’s budget. So one way that they’re able to get it done is by helping each other out.
“I have three of my own children, so I’m buying school supplies for them to go back,” Burns said. “And it’s nice and every little bit helps. Even just one thing off of a list makes teachers happy.”
Burns has been using clear the list hashtag for the past two years. She said the ability to connect with other teachers has made her job a lot easier.
“This is a very small school,” Burns said. “This year, I have 13 students, so I’m only reaching 13 parents. So now, I’m reaching presumably tens of thousands of people who are looking to support their local teachers.”
Getting a list cleared in rural community schools isn’t as hard, but Burns said teachers in larger districts definitely need all the help they can get.
“I think the best thing you could do is just ask your local school or your students’ teacher what they need and how you could help,” Burns said. “It might just be time. They might not need any materials, but even volunteering in the classroom.”
This year teachers’ needs can be found using #clearthelist and #clearthelist2023 on Facebook.