Teacher panhandles for money to stock her classroom!

Teacher holding sign asking for school supplies
Image Credit: FOX23 Sara Whaley

Teaching is known to be a low-paying profession, but are our nation’s educators now reduced to panhandling in the streets for money?

Before you pass judgment, here’s the whole story about one Tulsa teacher who found an unusual way to come up with supplies for her classroom…

Read more: How some teachers earn $100K selling their lesson plans online

Teacher’s plea for school supplies does not go unanswered

Teresa Danks knows what it’s like to be undercompensated for her work in the classroom. The public school third-grade teacher, who has been an educator since 1996, earns about $35,000 a year.

But with increasing education cuts in her state, supplies are in short order at her school. Danks is left spending between $2,000 and $3,000 of her own money on everything from microscopes and protractors to felt boards and paper towels for her classroom.

To raise awareness of this problem facing cash-strapped teachers, FOX23 reports that Danks stood on a street corner in downtown Tulsa on June 19.

She held a sign asking passing motorists to open their hearts and their wallets to a struggling teacher. The result? She received $55 in donations to buy school supplies in the first six minutes!

Here’s how teachers can get free or cheap stuff for their classroom

The national average starting salary for a teacher was $36,141 during the 2012-2013 school year — the most recent year for which data is available from the National Education Association.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways for educators to get free or cheap supplies as we gear up for a new school year.


Did you know teachers in Title I schools can get access to large quantities of free books that major publishers donate every month? That’s just one of six ways teachers can get free reads for their classrooms!

Meanwhile, our sister site ClarkDeals.com compiles the best deals on back-to-school supplies from retailers like Best Buy, Office Depot/Office Max, Old Navy, L.L. Bean, Big Lots, Target and more every single day.

Check out these amazing deals from Walmart:

Under $1

Remember, it’s not about the money you earn, but the money you save!

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