I was recently asked if I missed teaching. While there are things that I miss like watching my kids make incredible progress during the school year, there are things that I don’t miss. Like spending my own money on classroom supplies. The years that I had my own classroom it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend $1000 on much needed supplies for my students. While it may sound like a lot, I wasn’t alone. 92% of teachers report spending their own money on classroom supplies. $1.3 billion is spent out-of-pocket by teachers across the country each year.
I taught in a Title I school- a school where 30% of my students qualified for free and reduced meals (FARMS). Parents of my students were incredibly supportive of me but they didn’t have extra money to spend on the wish list items that we requested from families. I quickly learned that some of my students didn’t have books at home. Others didn’t have crayons to complete their homework. As a child of a teacher, I was flabbergasted to learn that not every child grew up in homes where they had access to supplies to do their nightly homework assignments.
Since I didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend in my first few years of teaching, I shopped in places that were teacher friendly. One of my favorite places to shop was always Office Depot because of their Star Teacher Program that I learned about at new teacher orientation and have been a member of ever since.
The flier I received about the Star Teacher Program advertised a breakfast the weekend before our professional days started. I remember visiting my local store and being treated to a lavish breakfast spread, discount on my purchases, and a gift bag of goodies for me and my classroom. It was a wonderful way to start my new career as a teacher and I’ve been brand loyal ever since.
Even though I’m not teaching anymore, I know that Office Depot is still a retailer that cares about teachers. They continue to celebrate hard-working teachers for their dedication and commitment to students’ success through programs like REAL Change #TeachersChangeLives campaign and the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast events that are currently taking place around the country to welcome teachers back to school with eight days of shopping advantages.
By visiting your local Office Depot store on the day of the Teacher Appreciation events, teachers receive:
- Free breakfast
- A special gift with a $10 purchase
- 20% instant discount on qualifying merchandise
- 30 Star Teacher Rewards points for every $1 spent on products from event sponsors that include Avery, Crayola, Carson Dellosa, Expo, PaperMate, Pilot, Scotch, Sharpie, and Post-It (aka all the brands teachers know and love!). Usually consumers receive 10 points for every $1 spent so this is a great deal!
For more information about dates of local Teacher Appreciation Breakfasts, please contact your local Office Depot. Most events are being held on Saturdays the week before school starts but please call to confirm!
What additional rewards can teachers expect from Office Depot throughout the year?
Star Teacher Rewards— A program is a flexible program designed to let educators choose how they get rewarded. Members receive personalized promotions on products or services that are relevant to them, access to special in-store events and exclusive pre-sale offers on new products.
5% Back to Schools Program—Designed to help teachers, parents, and schools earn free supplies and alleviate out-of-pocket expenses, teachers create a School Supplies Checklist that links to their corresponding school code so that parents who use their teacher’s list can help their schools get 5% back for free supplies.
As a parent, Office Depot is a retailer I support because they get school. They care about teachers and their challenges and understand what they need to thrive. They recognize their hard work and want to help them succeed by rewarding them for the contributions that are made daily to support their students.
I am participating in the #ODRewards campaign sponsored by Office Depot but all opinions are my own and based on . For more information, about Office Depot Rewards, visit their website.