WHAT A HOOT: Free Website Helps Teachers Save Money on Classroom Supplies | New


Most teachers and parents agree that school supplies are expensive. Cheryl Shane, an educator from Oklahoma and owner of the Hoot of Loot website, quickly learned this lesson when she started teaching.

A year ago, while browsing her classroom inventory, Shane said she asked her husband Edward if there was a place she could sell the supplies she wasn’t using. When the couple realized this wasn’t the case, they created HootofLoot.com, a free website for educators to buy and sell used or overstocked school supplies.

“I know that every year, especially the first few years, I spent a lot of my money on teaching materials, consumables for my students and just about everything that happens in a well-functioning classroom,” he said. Cheryl stated on the Hoot of Loot website. . “My personal experiences with the need to purchase my own classroom materials with a barely available paycheck are one of the main reasons HootofLoot.com is so important to me. HootofLoot.com is a convenient way for teachers to connect with other teachers who are interested in buying or selling used personal teaching supplies or other teaching materials.

The website describes itself as a “free classified ad website for discounted teaching supplies” serving 600 to 2,200 educators per day.

Local teachers

Creekside Elementary second-grade teacher Cheryl Green said she couldn’t begin to calculate how much she spent out of pocket on classroom supplies over the 19 years she had taught.

“We get our money from the state but we don’t get it until November,” she said, adding that the amount given by the state varies, but is usually around $ 300. “We have to have spent it by the end of the year so that everything that is being done over the summer to prepare for going back to school comes out of pocket.”

Green said it was easy to spend “a few hundred” of your own money in the summer to prepare for the year ahead.

Teachers use state money and their pockets to buy basic school supplies such as pencils, sharpeners, paper, sticky notes, markers and teaching resources, Green said.

When teachers are just starting out and don’t yet have the funds to supply their classrooms, Green said other teachers will step in to help.

“Thank goodness to the seasoned teachers,” she said, adding that in her early days she had teacher friends who helped her cut expenses. “It’s probably not so much that we have to spend on certain things, but to make it fresh and new you tend to spend more than you need to.”

How HootofLoot.com Works

Edward Shane said that in the year and a half that the page was up and running, he saw an increase from 455 social media likes to over 63,000.

“Right now 20 to 40 people sign up per day,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that they order products all the time, but in order to buy something you have to fill out a contact form. “

Information from buyers and sellers on the site is confidential, Edward said, adding that even he and Cheryl Shane couldn’t see it.

Teachers can go to the site and list their items at no cost to sell. Companies can also list items, but one of the rules is that the items must be priced for customs clearance.

As with most other online stores, buyers pay the shipping cost.

There are over 30 categories of items available on the website ranging from Arts and Crafts to Vo-Tech and include resources for teachers, plays, special education materials, tips. and LPC tools.

Cheryl Shane is now a fifth grade teacher but has taught kindergarten through eighth grade.

Since the site has no fees for sellers and buyers, the couple make no profit from it unless someone buys a featured ad, Edward said.

“The first thing is to help the teachers,” he said.

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