I feel like an ATM machine

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jan 16, 2013

    I wonder if my district is unique or if this is to be expected and I'm just being cheap. I teach in a district that contains many people living in poverty. There is an expectation at my school for teachers to donate to those deemed "needy." Just in the past couple of months, I have been asked to donate for:

    PTA membership - $20

    Thanksgiving feast for neighborhood families - $10

    parent (not teacher! :) ) appreciation breakfast - $5

    donations for a neighborhood family who had a house fire - $20

    3 school staff members in need - $25 each - $75 total

    Secret Santa (each teacher is assigned a student in need and buys a gift) - $20

    staff holiday gift for the principal - $20

    staff holiday gift for the secretaries - $20

    Tricky Tray (the teachers are responsible for creating baskets. Only a small number of my kids' parents sent in donations and I had to buy the basket) - $35

    And now...Class trip. The cost is $20 per child. I have to pay for myself plus there is an expectation that I pay for the children whose parents cannot afford the cost. So far I have 5 kids who haven't turned in their money. That's $120 total.

    We're not even halfway through the year. And of course, all of this is on top of the hundreds of dollars I've spent on things for my class, and supplies for kids who haven't brought in their own.

    Am I crazy or is my situation crazy? I'm not cold and I'm not uncaring, but I just feel like enough is enough.
     
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Fanatic

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    Jan 16, 2013

    In any school I have taught in, if the child does not bring in the money for a trip then they do not go. I would not pay for all of the items you listed. That is ridiculous. What happens if you don't give money for those things?
     
  4. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Jan 16, 2013

    I would have donated towards the Thanksgiving dinner, the house fire situation, and probably the gift for the secretaries. That's it.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I would not have participated in most of those things.
     
  6. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Jan 16, 2013

    Jerseygirlteach - It's certainly NOT YOU.

    There's been a growing sentiment that teachers are an endless resource of time and money.

    It's gotten to the point that school districts count on teachers to even handle the cost of class supplies, taking advantage of not only the kindness and generosity of our human nature, but the fact of knowing that we care about our students and wouldn't want to see them do without.
     
  7. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Jan 16, 2013

    Are there any local organizations or resources that can help you with this? I was able to get a local organization to give me $300 to use on supplies. I had to turn in copies of receipts, but I'm sure if I just wrote down the donations you made, they'd accept that as well.

    Does your school have a committee that focuses on the staff gifts? Our school has a committee that collects money at the beginning of the year, then handles all the things that come up (staff member having surgery, deaths in the family, holiday gifts, etc.)
     
  8. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Jan 16, 2013

    My school has the same thing. We collect $20 at the beginning of the year.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2013

    We have a social committee as well where we give 30 dollars at the beginning of the year for gifts for holidays and cards/gifts throughout the year.

    We are asked to donate to help families/staff in need, but it is never required and there is no set amount.

    Field trip costs are taken care of by the PTO/PTA when families cannot afford. The PTO/PTA also takes care of many events for the school and helping out with families in need.
     
  10. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jan 16, 2013

    I think you have every right to say no to all of this nonsense. My school also gets a bit crazy with the collections for random stuff but it's usually just during the Dec. holiday time. Still, I resent being told a monetary gift collection is voluntary then reminded incessantly that I haven't paid my part yet....!!! If it's voluntary, DO NOT put me on the spot and ask when I'll have the money to put in!! This was done to me in front of other staffers so I felt I had to donate the $50. suggested voluntary contribution. I'm still a tiny bit angry. :whistle:
     
  11. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jan 16, 2013

    At my previous district, it was $40 at the beginning of the year but that wouldn't even scratch the surface here.

    Also, the requests are not presented as optional. It's more like the principal announces at a meeting: "We're collecting for such as such. Everyone will be donating X dollars. Please have your money in by next week." And then the follow up..."Some of you still haven't gotten in your contributions for such and such. They were due yesterday. Please submit it ASAP."

    I go back and forth between resentment and feeling selfish because I know there are people that are truly in need. I just don't like this expectation that it's my responsibilty to help everyone in need. I've never asked anyone for anything.
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    Jan 16, 2013

    If and when you do donate, keep track of it. That stuff should be tax-deductible. Just something to keep in mind this time of year.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2013

    You can plan field trips that cost no money:
    Town hall...connects to SS units

    Bank...economics, math, SS

    GROCERY STORE...math, health

    Nature trail....science


    Walk around town...talk abou goods and services, community helpers, infrastructure, historic landmarks..

    Shabammm...just saved you $120
     
  14. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Thanks, but the field trip was not my idea. I was just told that this is what is being done.
     
  15. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Who planned the field trip? $20 is too much to ask, especially of lower income students. It would seem logical to pick a more affordable option, but you know the saying about common sense...
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm sorry...I would not be spending my hard earned dollars for all of this. Contact the PTO for student needs. I wouldn't participate in a field trip for $120. My paycheck just went down to pay more into pension, health care, financial cliff, what have you. I love my students, but not enough to pay $120 for a field trip. Your time would be better spent taking them out into your school grounds with their notebooks to do some writing.
     
  17. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    Jan 16, 2013

    How is it possible they can actually expect you to put out your own money for a field trip in NJ? Are you in a public school? Go to your union.

    Also, check with your PTA and see if they can cover costs, they do it in my district.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Aficionado

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    Jan 16, 2013

    I wouldn't pay $20 for just my portion of the trip. You aren't crazy, your school is.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2013

    I give my kids my heart, sweat, hugs and tears. I buy them gift books, goodies, rewards...I do that out of my heart, not because I'm asked or required to. I would NOT participate in this extortion.
     
  20. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jan 16, 2013

    And now...Class trip. The cost is $20 per child. I have to pay for myself plus there is an expectation that I pay for the children whose parents cannot afford the cost. So far I have 5 kids who haven't turned in their money. That's $120 total.

    That is definitely over the top. Asking a teacher to pay $100 for students who can't afford the trip is too much. I would say that you wish you could afford the extra $100, but you don't have it in your budget. Many people take advantage of teachers because they know that we like to help and don't like to say no. Don't get taken advantage of here. It is not your job to pay for students who can't afford a field trip.

    Your situation is crazy. I have only spent $20/year and that was an envelope was passed around to help a family in need. If I didn't give anything, no one would have said anything.
     
  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jan 16, 2013

    For students who can't pay the money for a field trip, we always have PTA or a similar organization pay for it. They gladly help for this.
     

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