As you may have gathered from snippets in previous posts, I'm going back into the classroom next year. I spent three years teaching third grade in rural Louisiana through Teach For America, two years teaching 6th grade reading and writing at KIPP Academy, one year teaching a part-time class at YES Prep Public School, and one year teaching at a public Montessori school (grades 1-3) in Denver. But most recently, I've been working as an educational consultant.
Teaching is a profession that is very hard on the wallet:
- You don't make very much money to start with.
- You end up spending most of it on stuff for your kids/classroom.
The problem is that so many of my ideas involve money. As a small part of the solution, I decided to set up a registry, so my friends and family (as well as my students' families) know what we need in our classroom. And anyone who has some spare dollars to donate to a good cause can contribute something interesting to our classroom!
For our wedding, Matt and I used My Registry, but I wanted to try something different for my classroom registry. I decided to go with Alternative Registry because I love their mission:
Do you want to plan an event that emphasizes time spent with loved ones and de-emphasizes store-bought gifts? Do you want to give a special gift to someone you love that focuses on the bond you share, rather than something that costs a bundle and may not be what they really want?
We all love giving and receiving gifts; it’s important to our culture and good for the spirit. When the gifts we buy don’t match our values, however, they can distract from, rather than deepen, the meaning behind an event, despite the best intentions of those involved. The cost to gift-givers—not to mention the environmental impacts—also adds up quickly.
Fortunately, for many brides, grooms, parents-to-be, and other gift recipients, less truly is more. By encouraging non-material, second-hand, homemade, and environmentally friendly gifts, we seek to continue the proud tradition of gift-giving while helping celebrants focus on what matters most: a joyous commemoration with loved ones that honors the important moments in their lives.
The downside of this registry is that it hasn't been as user-friendly for my guests. One of my friends tried to buy a magazine subscription for my class but she e-mailed me in a panic because the registry reported that she had ordered two subscriptions. One of my former college professors e-mailed me to say he had ordered the items according to Alternative Registry, but it had never asked him for money. He didn't realize you actually had to leave the site to purchase the item. This registry seemed more confusing than My Registry, even though I support the cause more. Also, My Registry lets you upload photos of the items, which makes it more appealing.
What has been your experience with online registries? Any you strongly recommend?