Does your school expect that you provide supplies?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2018

    I'm not disagreeing that if it is in a 504 plan it should be provided. What I am disagreeing with is people saying you shouldn't buy it. Yes it should be provided. But if you have explored all options and it isn't going to be provided my advice to a new teacher is that this is not the hill to die on. As a new teacher, I chose to buy those types of things because I wanted my class to run smoothly and I wasn't prepared to get into an argument with admin over a 10$ item.

    Should teachers have to buy basics. No. But when I was new if I needed something, I bought it. I picked the cheapest option - so I wouldn't buy binders. I'd buy the cheapest notebooks I could find. I didn't buy whiteboard markers. I used the chalkboard (because we still have them back then and chalk is way cheaper). I bought pencils in bulk on sale because trying to get them from our office just led to arguments and then admin thought you were hard to deal with because the office manager complained about you. I spent hours and hours at used book sales to fill my classroom library. I probably taught 15 different courses in 2 years so I know what needing to spend money on resources feels like. I spent a fortune going to conferences on my own dime so I had the most up to date information. I also ate a lot of Kraft Dinner to fund those conferences!

    As a new teacher my priority was getting good performance reviews and if spending a bit of my own money supported that and made me look like a team player, so be it. The end result was I got a permanent, well-paying job and didn't sit on the substitute list for 10 years. I think what I hear over and over again is that many teachers use their own money for a few years and then cut back. There is a reason for this. Basically, what I personally gain from a stable, well paid career over 35 years is worth putting some money in upfront in the first 2-5 years. I spent money on my education. I considered the money I spent in my next 5 years to be an extension of that by which point I was able to get most of the basics covered because I knew how to order stuff and how to access stuff. In my first two years I was planning for the next day. I certainly didn't know to order stuff in August that I needed for December.

    Ultimately, you should do whatever makes sense to you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  2. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Sep 16, 2018

    ^
    I am probably going to ask him to bring one or give him something from the math manipulatives closet. I could get something from the dollar store but it is really out of my way and when I go there, the traffic on the way back home adds 20 minutes to my commute!
     
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  3. flairpen

    flairpen Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2018

    This is me too! I buy a lot of my books used, so I can buy a lot for very little.

    I'm very lucky that my students pre-purchase all of their supplies for the year so I've never had to buy markers, pencils, notebooks, etc. and I get a very generous monthly spending budget.
     
  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Wouldn’t it just be easier for schools to keep a fully stocked supply closet so there is virtually no need to have purchase orders? My school has PO’s, but they are very rarely used because we just raid the supply closet all the time and so we hardly ever have to request anything.

    Essentially, we all have a key to this huge room on the first floor near the front office. It has everything you could possibly need supply wise, from staplers to staples, and folders, hole punchers, scissors, computer paper, construction paper, paper clips, markers, crayons, whiteboard erasers, etc. You don’t even need to ask at my school, you just go in and grab what you need and when a bin starts to get low you notify someone in the front office and it gets refilled within 48 hours. It’s this 20ft by 30ft room filled with boxes and shelves and shelves of supplies.

    Another thing that I love that my school does is give each new and returning teacher a large container at the start of each year full of classroom supplies with most of the aforementioned items. It seems like this should be standard everywhere because a lot of teachers could benefit from this and that way they wouldn’t be forced to buy their own supplies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 16, 2018

    I think that expecting teachers to provide stuff for IEPs/504s is a hill to die on. You make respectable argument for the rest of teacher spending, but when it comes into SPED territory, well, what is the school's plan when the teacher says they won't pay for it? Will they demand the teacher's financial accounts? Will they demand loans? Let's say it's not a cheap fidget but expensive medical/therapy equipment? Why should the teacher be expected to pay for it? And, should the teacher refuse, what would be the next course of action?
     
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  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 16, 2018

    I would also say there's a big difference between going through a purchase order or whatever and buying your own things.

    Should a new teacher who has yet to receive paycheck #1 really have to take out loans to get the school year started? Surely schools ought to have better strategies than that.
     
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 16, 2018

    If the school is mindful of keeping this stocked, a lot of money could be saved with those bulk purchases...
     
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  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 16, 2018

    Exactly. And my administrators think this way, too. Plus, they rarely have to order anything because we basically have everything already. It saves time for them as they have other things to worry about and it saves the school money as suppliers give discounts since we buy in bulk.

    The same thing holds true for budgeting at my school. We have a surplus year and after year (in the several million dollar range), so they restock the supply closet at the end each year and buy nice extras! It’s great!
     
  9. CharRMS

    CharRMS Companion

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    Sep 16, 2018

    Most likely the student already has extra fidgets if it is required by 504 and most likely will bring one with him. I agree to simply ask if he doesn't bring one from home.

    The rest of the supplies. . . I agree its not always fair that we as teachers have to buy things for our classroom; something that was discussed in a previous thread I believe. However, we can make the personal choice to buy or not to buy the extra things. Those first few years are tough because you find things that you need and WANT, so you spend your personal money on them, BUT it is a choice. I tend to buy things for my classroom that if I left my current school that I could take with me because I purchased them and not the school. I purchase things for my classroom to decorate it up or things that I like because I spend so much of my time there that I want it to look nice and be somewhere I want to be. Most other teachers probably do the same. I agree with above that buying supplies is not a battle I would want to take on as a new teacher. It gets easier and cheaper as you go because you find there is less and less every year that you need.

    Does your school have a stipend that you get each year? I can't remember the answer to this from previous discussions.
     
  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Sep 16, 2018

    Yep, if the kid didn't have anything of his own, and the IEP/504 team didn't provide me anything, you better believe the lad wouldn't be getting any more than a rubber band from me.
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Sep 16, 2018

    Yeah, I'll agree with the consensus here. As both a special education teacher and a general education teacher, it will be a cold day in hell before I buy something because an IEP or 504 says a student is required to have it. The IEP/504 is a legal document that the school is expected to uphold. If a specific item is required, the school needs to provide it, not my personal bank account.
     
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 17, 2018

    I agree. Teachers already pay union dues; federal, state, and local taxes; and deductions for their healthcare and pension, so what’s left is ours to live off of. We should not have to further dip into our salaries because a district or school is too cheap to provide for its students.
     
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  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Sep 17, 2018

    I am very fortunate to be at a school that has an excellent budget, and provides many materials. We have a limitless supply of copy paper, and are given a generous copy budget. If we make more copies than that, we are charged for them. We are provided with white board markers, sticky notes, pens, pencils, etc. as needed. We have an academic foundation that we can ask to pay for the extras, such as individual whiteboards, workbooks, entry fees for competitions, etc. We have several computer labs, as well as Chromebook carts. In addition, we get $200 a year, which I use to buy colored copy paper, special supplies for projects, etc.

    But, I've worked at a different school in this same district where paper was severely rationed, students were required to buy pencils if they didn't have one, and no supplies were provided.

    I still find myself spending money at school, but it's because we have so many fundraisers and groups selling things, and I always buy from the first student who asks me.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2018

    We get, in two installments during the year, ~$25/student to spend on "consumable" supplies--notebooks, paper, pencils, whiteboard markers, art supplies, etc. I spend about $100/year on materials for special activities for my class, and an untold amount on books.
     
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  15. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Sep 17, 2018

    In early August, I am required to go into my classroom for a couple hours to take some inventory and make a list of all the supplies. There is no particular budget cap. Almost all of the supplies I require are provided to my classroom. I do also submit a supply list for my classroom. Throughout the year, if I need a new supply of something or other supplies, I submit a Supply Request form. The school prioritizes all classroom supplies, but I do always receive the requested supplies (eventually)!
     
  16. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sep 17, 2018

    I would ask what funds are available for purchasing such fidgets. If it is a 504 or even in an IEP, the school/school system is SUPPOSED to purchase it.
     
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  17. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2018

    That is a LOT of money from your school! I get $80 per class, so with 32 students per class, that is just $2.50 per student.
     
  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Sep 17, 2018

    A $1 fidget thing or $1 whatever doesn't seem like a lot but if you buy ONE thing for ONE student you will be expected to buy everything. It's best to start the year off letting someone in your school know your needs. I guess I'm spoiled since we just have to fill out an order form if we need pens, pencils, etc. There's a cart that comes around with tissues and clorox wipes and we ask for what we need once a week. We get classroom money for stuff that's needed beyond the basics. I just went through my craft supplies and noticed my paint brushes are old and not in good shape so this week I'm going to request some classroom money and buy them from the craft store along with some other craft supplies. I could go to the dollar store and buy some stuff buy why spend my own money? This stuff isn't for my use. It's for the students' use.
     
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  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    And you deserve every penny! Classroom supplies get expensive really quickly. I’m glad that you get the funding and support you need.
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    That’s not okay. How do they expect you to buy supplies for each student if your budget is $2.50 per person? So, you basically can buy every student a pack of pencils. That’ll do it. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018

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