Our Favorite Teachers! {Plus, learn how you can support YOUR favorite teachers!}

Have I ever told you that I want to be a teacher when I grow up?  With my husband working in the school system, it just seems like an awesome fit - you know, with the days off and all. But even when I was a little girl, being a teacher seemed like such an amazing job. I've always been blessed with some great teachers! Growing up, I remember my mom always talking about how good my teachers were.

Now that I am grown up, I try to help as often as possible in my kids classes. I've been pretty lucky to have been able to help almost every year. I feel like my kids have been blessed with pretty awesome teachers as well.

I'll be honest, though It has been incredibly eye opening for me to help in my kid's classrooms. First of all, I never realized HOW amazing teachers actually are. I knew they were pretty special, but oh my goodness, they are such hard workers! Believe me, I have second guessed my dream of becoming a teacher! Teachers are SO under appreciated!! They sacrifice so much for their kids. It's truly a labor of love!

Did you know that 92% of teachers report spending their own money out of pocket for their classrooms?  The average is $1000 per year for each teacher! That's $1000 my daughter's teacher has spent of her own money just to help my girl get a better education! Oh, and in case you're trying to do the math, that adds up to $1.3 billion nationally each and every year. My heart is so full of gratitude just thinking about it!!

I know that school funding is tight everywhere. It seems like we hear all the time that education budgets are getting cut left and right. Idaho is definitely not the exception. Last school year, Idaho had the least funding per student in the entire US. And it's easy to see the effects. Today, while helping in my son's classroom, the teacher was scrambling to find enough erasers for the kids to use. Erasers! Something that you would expect to be abundant in every classroom. I know of many, many art projects that my kids have brought home that were used with teacher donated supplies. And, both of my kids teachers bring snacks for the kids every single day so that the kids won't be hungry and can learn better. The thing that most amazes me is that these teacher often do this because they love teaching. Not because they want praise. They are just incredible people that love our kids and want to make a difference!

Thankfully, there are ways that we can help! I was so excited when I heard about the the Office Depot Real Change Project. It's a partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org where parents can help donate money to their child's classroom. The best part is, 100% of the donations go directly to teachers! You can even find a specific classroom to donate to, so you know that what you are contributing will directly affect your child or school. Education is so important to me! It's important for our country and for our kid's future! The time of sitting by and relying on government funding alone is long gone. If we want to make a lasting impact on our children's future, we need to help our teachers more!

If you're a teacher, be sure to get over there and register YOUR classroom! You could be eligible to get funding from donors nationwide!

Even if you can't help financially, you can help by spreading the word. Tell your child's teacher about the Office Depot Real Change Project so they can register. Tell your family and friends so they know how they can help! With everyone working together we can all make a difference in education!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.