It’s back-to-school time! No matter what this year looks like or which side of the desk you’re on, both teachers and students are likely feeling a few stomach butterflies fluttering about. ClubRED is here to help calm that anticipation by making sure teachers come to class fully prepared with a box that packs in stationery supplies, classroom must-haves and inspiration!
We sat down with Monica, the founder of ClubRED, to hear the hows and whys behind the box, and get some advice on how to make the best of this school year.
What inspired you to start ClubRED?
ClubRED launched with a vision of helping our everyday heroes -- teachers! With 12 years of teaching experience under my belt, I wanted to use my firsthand knowledge as an educator to create a classroom solution that really works for teachers. After spending over $1,700 in my first year of teaching on classroom supplies, I realized that even though it’s important for students to exercise creativity, develop a love of discovery and learn about the world around them, an enhanced classroom experience can carry a hefty price tag for teachers!
An extension of Scholars Dollar, a support organization for teachers in rural, urban and tribal communities, ClubRED offers three subscription tiers, from The Fun One to The Restock Box, that are all designed to solve a simple problem: save teachers time and money on classroom supplies and academic fashion! Every monthly box sends high-quality classroom supplies, and some much-needed self-care staples, at just a fraction of the price, because teachers shouldn’t have to spend personal time and money to have the tools they need to get the job done.
As a teacher myself, I use my personal classroom experience to select items that I know I need at different points throughout the school year. Expo markers and clean whiteboards to get a fresh start to the school year, crayons in November, to replace the broken ones and kick off the heavy arts-and-crafts season, and new, sharp pencils in May to prepare for testing. In an effort to be the academic brand that teachers turn to when they have a want or need for classroom supplies and personal swag, I use trusted wholesale partners and am always on the lookout for deals wherever I can find them!
From kindergarten to college, it’s clear that school looks very different this year for many families. Do you have any advice for families struggling to adjust to these changes or those facing a school year at home?
It would be helpful for parents to get their student in the habit of participating in the “classroom” and their remote learning experience. Help them navigate the new changes by making expectations crystal clear and setting realistic daily goals.
Providing a clear plan as to where and when they’ll engage in schoolwork can also be very helpful in directing their attention where it needs to be. Every step should ideally work towards creating a routine and a habit. And, know that we as teachers are here to support you along the way!
Since school will also be different for teachers too, what are some ways teachers can empower students -- and take care of themselves -- this semester?
Right now, I am still teaching in the classroom. And, like most, I am teaching remotely. So, my evenings are spent creating lesson plans, and my days are spent interacting with students. One piece of advice I can give is that less is more! Remote learning cannot simply be taking traditional lessons and putting them online. Research indicates that content chunking and keeping instruction to a 5-10 minute maximum, helps students focus on what’s most important.
Also, engagement matters! If assignments are not meaningful, why would students complete them? More than likely, remote lessons will look nothing like classroom teaching -- and that’s okay! We can enhance our students’ experience by providing a vision. If they are reading, why? Writing, why? Doing an activity, why?
And, equally important, teachers need to prioritize self-care and relaxation, so they can show up to their classroom ready to give their best!