Does your school expect that you provide supplies?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Sep 15, 2018 at 2:57 PM.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    I know this is a widespread issue in teaching and education, but I find it frustrating when schools expect that teachers provide essential supplies like tissues, pencils, etc. At my school, most teachers seem to provide a lot and my neighbor teacher said she spends $1000 a year. My friend is working in a different district and said that she only receives a case of copy paper a quarter, no supplies, but luckily a $150 reimbursement (which is only this year!!). My school thankfully provides the basics + unlimited copies and I know that is much better than many schools. I personally do not purchase things that I think the school should supply (although I did get a bunch of used stuff through donations) but I will purchase the "extras" if I feel like I want them. Most teachers even buy things like tissue boxes which I do not.

    Anyways, one of my students apparently has ADHD and we had to do a 504 plan sign off. He is expected to have a fidget toy, scheduled breaks, etc. I asked about getting a fidget for him and apparently it is "up to the teachers." I'm sure I can find something to bring in from home but it seems ridiculous that the teacher is expected to provide something that is required by a student's 504 plan!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018 at 8:52 PM
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:06 PM

    I wouldn’t be able to find anything. Seriously.
     
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  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    I was just told in an email it is "up to the teacher's discretion" when I asked if he had one. I might ask if the school has one for him but I don't want to make a big deal of something in my first year in a district. I might just end up giving him something from the math manipulatives closet.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Id email child study team and ask where the fidgets are kept. The math manips are a good idea. I would not be spending any of my own money on something required in a 504 plan. The ‘discretion’ part is about deciding if and when to use it, not supplying one.
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:32 PM

    ^
    From the impression of my school so far, it is highly unlikely that my school provides any fidgets for the kids. We're on a tight budget. I can email the 504 coordinator and say that I do not have any fidgets in my classroom and ask where I can get one for him. It seems like it is expected that we buy one for him, but I'm not sure?
     
  7. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    I think sometimes we oversimplify things when as teachers we say 'other professions don't require this.' In Canada, lots of professions are required to provide their own supplies. For example, mechanics have to provide their own tools (as do most trades people) even trades people who make less than 1/2 of what teachers make.

    So I usually have asked my school to pay for as much as possible but sometimes choose to buy things that are going to take too long to get ordered. As a new teacher, I bought lots of stuff as I wanted to be viewed positively and as I got more comfortable in my school and learned what the channels were to ask for things I would see what I could get bought by the school. Personally, I would just buy the fidgets at the dollar store as I wouldn't pick this to be the thing I stood firm on. It sounds like they are asking you to buy them. They are cheap. I wouldn't stand on principle on this. I'd buy a few and make sure the kid had a good year.
     
  8. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:39 PM

    I bought a decent amount of things my first year, but the only thing I regularly buy now is candy.

    I would tell the student to bring his favorite fidget from home.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:40 PM

    Have you read the current Time magazine? There are teachers working several jobs, sellng their blood, etc to make ends meet. If we stop supplying what is needed and required, districts will find a way to
     
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  10. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:45 PM

    I agree but I do not see this happening. I have probably spent $200 of my own money this year and other new teachers in my building have spent much, much more. I think a lot of teachers really do not hesitate buying things for their classroom + students.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018 at 3:55 PM
  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Enthusiast

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:49 PM

    You are 100% correct!
     
  12. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:50 PM

    Czacza ,

    I think there are 2 separate issues here:
    1 - What new teachers in this situation should do
    2 - What we should collectively do

    As a first year teacher I would have done whatever it took to impress and that included spending my own money. I don't think as someone with almost 20 years in it is reasonable for me to stand on principle and tell a first year teacher not to spend this specific 10$ that could be the difference between a positive review and being non-renewed (because if it takes 3 months to get the item and in the meantime the student does very poorly it can become an issue for the teacher). I believe Ms. H is a newer teacher.

    I also don't know what Ms. H makes but I know that where I live a first year teacher makes substantially more than a first year mechanic and that first year mechanic typically has to take out loans to buy all their tools so again, to me we can't ask first year teachers to be the ones who stand on principle on this.

    As a collective, we should advocate for funding. But if there are no items in her school then I'm assuming Ms H's more experienced colleagues haven't gotten anywhere on this front. So again, not reasonable to tell the first year teacher to be the one to take the stand.

    If Ms. H doesn't want to stay at her school, start looking for a better funded district but I'd do what is necessary to get a good review this year.
     
  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 4:02 PM

    Interestingly, it seems like a lot of my colleagues haven't asked for supplies. We have to email our literacy coach for supplies but she has gotten me everything I've asked for except a class set of whiteboard markers. (permanent markers, binder clips, sheet protectors, graph paper, pencil sharpener, etc.) Another teacher told me she spent $2000 and said the school didn't have chart paper...but I asked for some and got some.
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 4:04 PM

    Not a bad idea! :)
     
  15. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 4:07 PM

    Well if you think there is someone who will buy you fidgets go ahead and ask them. Your original post sounded like there weren't.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 4:22 PM

    My school provides the basics but not the “extras.” I doubt they do provide fidgets. My post was just about how ridiculous it is that teachers are expected to provide something that is required by a 504 plan.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 4:24 PM

    Agreed. It’s ridiculous. Go with the math Manips
     
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  18. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 6:30 PM

    A little bit off topic of who is supplying but just to note - another teacher shared with me and I have used with success: velcro (a strip of both sides) glued to bottom or inside of desk or table, so that a student can scratch and rub it as they want - for some kids the tactile activity of this acts in the same way to funnel that extra bit of energy and I find it much less annoying than those fidget toys. and then it stays with you for the year, not the kid, so less likely to get lost.
     
  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 6:39 PM

    I have also made fidgits from "slime" or "playdough" and put them in ziplock bags. Just be sure to double bag it!
     
  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 6:43 PM

    I only buy things that make my life easier or are seriously cheap. I put in purchase orders for everything else.
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Enthusiast

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    Sep 15, 2018 at 8:21 PM

    $2,000?! Oh. My. God.

    If my school suddenly expected me to do that, I would be like, “Um, yeah no.” Luckily, they provide everything I could possibly need, but still.
     

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