New teachers go shopping

By Shelby Harrell | Dec 22, 2013
Photo by: Shelby Harrell Forty nine beginner teachers and their mentors swarm over tables of free school supplies during the fourth annual Beginning Teacher Shower.

Teachers don't often get to be greedy when it comes to classroom supplies, but dozens of new teachers were not afraid to grab, snatch and stuff their bags full of supplies on Wednesday afternoon.

During the fourth annual Beginning Teachers Shower, 49 new instructors at Haywood County Schools scooped up tables full of supplies for their classrooms.

The spree was set up inside the Education Center in Clyde and featured several tables piled with pencils, white boards, books, crayons, paper and much more. First-year teachers crammed everything they could into boxes and bags with big smiles.

Briannah Goodson, a 25-year-old first-grade teacher at North Canton Elementary School, looked thrilled about all the supplies she snatched for her students.

"It means a lot," she said. “Especially since I just started teaching in November. Without it, I would have had to pay for everything out of my pocket.”

The shower was open to all 49 first-year instructors, and was meant as a gift from Haywood County Schools, Haywood County Schools Foundation, State Employees Credit Union and Alpha Delta Kappa education sorority. Residents in the community also donated supplies.

“The idea came from the first-year teachers who have nothing to start out with,” said Jason Hines, a Haywood County Schools administrator. “The teachers all get really excited when they get in (the auditorium) and see all that stuff.”

Human Resources Director Carol Douglas, who works with beginning teachers, created the first teacher shower four years ago to help fill a gap that can cost teachers hundreds of dollars each year. What many people don’t realize is that oftentimes teachers have to pay for supplies out of their own pocket.

In addition to bags filled with supplies, teachers were given a $100 from the Haywood County Schools Foundation.

For Goodson, the support was a little overwhelming.

“It means I have more supplies for them,” she said about her first-graders. “It’s very important because they need a lot of hands-on activities. We’re teaching them how to be responsible and be organized. We have lots of hands-on work, so we have to use supplies.”

Haywood County Schools also gave the new teachers a mentor to help them get adjusted to the school and help them jump into teaching. Goodson’s mentor, Michelle Burris, who also teaches at North Canton Elementary School, has been teaching for 16 years.

Burris attended the shower with Goodson and helped her grab supplies after during the mad dash.

“When I first started teaching, I had no mentor and I had no money,” Burris said, adding that she was happy the new teachers now had more resources. “The shower is just exciting. I’m always so excited, and I’m not even the one who’s getting the stuff.”