We Asked a NC Teacher What They Need This School Year. Here’s What They Said.

We Asked a NC Teacher What They Need This School Year. Here’s What They Said.

We talked to a NC teacher about what you can do to help this year. (Shutterstock)

By Leah Sherrell

August 23, 2023

There are lots of ways you can show appreciation for educators. We got advice straight from a NC teacher.

North Carolina schools are back in session! 

Aug. 28 is the first day of school for most of North Carolina’s public schools.  As everyone gets back into the swing of the academic year – here are five ways to support our teachers! 

We love our teachers. Sign up for our free, award-winning newsletter for all the education news, culture, and voices.  

Ask Them About School Supply Needs 

According to the Governor’s office, the average teacher spends about $500 every year on school supplies for their classroom. 

Third-grade teacher Sara Marsh from Forsyth County is welcoming her fourth group of students this year. She says that while she doesn’t mind buying classroom supplies for her students—because, “at the end of the day, they need it,”—teachers are always grateful for the extra help from parents. 

Marsh keeps an Amazon wishlist for her classroom with essentials like: 

  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Erasers 
  • Notebook Paper 

She tends to go thrifting or wait for sales on classroom furniture and creative seating options like carpet squares, floor desks, and scoop seats. 

So if you’re wondering how to support your teacher, ask what’s on their wishlist! You can also see if there’s a schoolwide need for backpacks, books, or clothes donations. 


FOLLOW for more NC news! The new school year is just around the corner in North Carolina, but the lack of a finalized state budget is hurting educators’ ability to prepare. Chris Heagarty, vice-chair of the Wake County Board of Education, joined NC House Democrats for a news conference at the General Assembly Monday to highlight the impacts of the delay. Kids return to the classroom in two weeks in most districts, but schools still don’t know how much they can pay teachers and staff. Many districts will not be able to provide timely transportation for every student who needs it. Republicans, who hold a veto-proof majority in the General Assembly, have not been able to agree amongst themselves on a budget deal. Whatever form the budget takes will undoubtedly provide less than public schools need, Rep. Julie von Haefen (D-Wake County) said at the news conference. But NO budget makes things worse. When there is no budget, funding levels remain flat from the previous year’s budget, but that can cause shortcomings and make schools less willing to make big expenditures. “This plan is clear: starve public schools of what they need to succeed and then criticize them for their shortcomings,” she said. #education #publiceducation #education #nceducation #nced #ncbudgets #BoardofEducation #Northcarolina #nc #ncNews #wakecounty

♬ original sound – Cardinal & Pine – Cardinal & Pine


Look Out for Volunteer Opportunities

Marsh also encourages parents to keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities around the school. 

That may look like coming in for career day, where parents show students different fields they can get into, food drives, and PTA involvement. Parents may also be able to enrich their child’s educational experience by chaperoning field trips or participating in after-school programming. 

Teachers watch their students grow all throughout the school year. Not only do they see hard subjects finally click in growing brains, they also watch as North Carolina’s youth mature and develop their personalities. 

As they care for your children, make sure to tell them you notice all the work they do too! 

Showing them appreciation can come in gestures big and small like:

  • Personal Notes
  • Thoughtful Gifts
  • Commendation Letters to the Administration 
  • Public Recognition on social media, community boards, or even news outlets

Send us an email at [email protected] if there’s a teacher in your life that deserves a shout-out on our channels! 

Know What’s Happening at School 

If your school has a newsletter make sure you’re subscribed to see the news and updates at your child’s school. After reading the notices, make sure to let them know if you have questions, concerns, or feedback. 

This is a great way to keep track of volunteer opportunities, PTA events, and board meetings. Not only can you advocate for your child, but their teachers may also need your support. 

Gov. Roy Cooper declared NC schools to be in a “state of emergency” in May, primarily due to underfunding from the state legislature and the rapid expansion of school choice options. 

Community Organization

Banding the community together to improve your school is a great way to show teachers how much you care. 

This can mean: 

  • Organizing a fundraiser (bake sales and car washes are classic examples)
  • Hosting a donation drive for big tickets items like bookshelves, classroom furniture, and technology
  • Planning a school-cleanup day
  • Anything else that comes to mind to help your school!


  • Leah Sherrell

    Leah Sherrell is a multimedia reporter for Cardinal & Pine. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she's a resident of Kernersville with a background in video production and communication. Leah uses many forms of media to explore the multifaceted lifestyles and cultures present in North Carolina.

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized
Related Stories
Share This