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  #1  
Old 01-16-2013, 01:30 PM
Jerseygirlteach Jerseygirlteach is offline
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3rd/4th grade special education
I feel like an ATM machine

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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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 01:42 PM
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TeacherNY TeacherNY is offline
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NY of course!
Special Education Teacher
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?
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2013, 01:46 PM
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MikeTeachesMath MikeTeachesMath is offline
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New York
HS Mathematics, Performing Arts
I would have donated towards the Thanksgiving dinner, the house fire situation, and probably the gift for the secretaries. That's it.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2013, 01:53 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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I would not have participated in most of those things.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2013, 02:05 PM
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Reality Check Reality Check is offline
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Pennsylvania
High School English Teacher
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.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2013, 03:59 PM
Rox Rox is offline
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CA
Special Education Teacher
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.)
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:07 PM
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PinkCupcake PinkCupcake is offline
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Texas
2nd Grade Teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rox View Post
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.)
My school has the same thing. We collect $20 at the beginning of the year.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:31 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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USA
Kindergarten Teacher
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.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:33 PM
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WindyCityGal606 WindyCityGal606 is offline
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USA
Elementary
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.
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:41 PM
Jerseygirlteach Jerseygirlteach is offline
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3rd/4th grade special education
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.
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