Buying for your classroom

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Miss J. Pre-K, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Dec 20, 2009

    I taught 1/2 year last year in a well-funded classroom that had pretty much whatever I needed and lots of materials to swap out. Now I'm in a pre-k classroom in a public school (brand new program) where they have bought me the basics, but not much extra. I was given some money to buy stuff at the beginning of the year, but I'm having to buy stuff out of my pocket, especially art supplies.

    I worry about running out of writing paper and it not being replaced so I've started to limit the amount I put out. I ran out of water cups for outside and had to beg for more. I've bought brooms, dustpans, mops, dishrags for spills, extra blocks, puzzles, books, dress-up clothes, play food (was given none), and art supplies like pipe cleaners, foam sheets, foam pieces, extra pencils, glitter glue, etc. out of my money. Also many of the containers and baskets that hold toys/materials I have bought. We were told we are NOT to ask parents for anything, we can request that they bring snack, but not demand.

    I have one advisor who says I need to buy a water-resistant rug for under the water table. Another gives suggestions for things to buy with each unit--ex: peppermints, wrapping paper, boxes, hand mirrors, sensory items like carpet squares for my recent five senses unit.

    I just want to get opinions. Is this normal spending? Do you spend so much on your classroom? Do you have a monthly amount given to you to spend or that someone buys for your classroom? Do you budget yourself or put a cap on your own classroom spending?
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 20, 2009

    You should not have to spend any of your own money. Whoever runs the program should have petty cash to take care of the items needed to enrich the program.
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 20, 2009

    Last year was my first year teaching, and I spent almost $3,000. Like you, I was given an almost-empty classroom and only $250 at the beginning of the year. My school does not allow teachers to turn in receipts to get money back.

    This year, I have almost everything I need, and I'm very frugal about spending my own money. Did you try putting a wish list outside your classroom door? Make a sign that says "Ms. ____'s wish list. Stick post-it notes with items on the outside. Parents can grab the post-its and donate the items to your classroom. Some teachers at my school keep them up year-round. Maybe you could get creative and ask local businesses to donate items, scraps, etc?
     
  5. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Dec 20, 2009

    at the beginning of the year when kids want to please i give kids a list of items we need in the classroom and ask kids to bring in 2 items - kleenex, hand sanitizer, markers etc - i don't run out until year's end - i used to spend so much of my own $$$$ - no more!
     
  6. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Like DrivingPigeon, last year was my first year and I spent over $1000 of my own money. This year, I've learned!! My school is pretty good about supplies. Each month we hand in a supply list of items we need for our lessons and it's checked over by the director and we usually get what we need. Also, in the summer we are taken shopping to purchase items for the classroom (calendars, weather charts, etc.) If we buy something with our own money (within reason) we can usually hand in the receipt and be reimbursed.
     
  7. LvToyFoxTerrier

    LvToyFoxTerrier Rookie

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    Dec 20, 2009

    I only get reimbursed for $100 of my supplies every year. Of course I spend way more than that and it comes out of my own pocket. :mad:
     
  8. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Dec 21, 2009

    OUr school is well funded and I get quite a bit in terms of budget. Most things I get reimbursed for, but sometimes there's something that I might pick up at the grocery store that I won't turn in a receipt for.

    If your advisor is recommending that you buy certain things, then I would recommend to the advisor that they come up with a way for you to fund these things. It's not fair for you to have to purchase CONSUMABLES for your classroom.

    A preschool room uses many many more consumables than a traditional elementary school does. You need the appropriate budget for what they expect of you.
     
  9. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Dec 21, 2009

    I think it depends on your program and how it is funded etc. I have worked in private schools, public schools, and Head Start and each one was different in the amount of $$ they could give.

    At the private school I worked at I had nothing but furniture in the classroom, but I was encouraged to hold fundraisers and ask parents and I was able to get some of the things needed for my classroom that way.

    At Head Start I had everything I could ever need and then some, it looked like Lakeshore threw up in my classroom- the art supplies were endless.

    In public school, where I've been for the last 13 years, teachers get $100 per year and that's it. I spend $3,000 of my own money on my classroom each year on average, including paying for my own professional development. We get absolutely no art supplies at all except the crayons, markers, paper, and glue the kids bring on the first day of school. If I need tissue paper, pipe cleaners, or glitter etc. it's all up to me. I usually spend the $100 on art supplies and anything else comes out of my own pocket. Things like puzzles, baby dolls, play food, dress-up clothes, books, plastic tubs for holding learning materials etc are all out of pocket expenses for me. After complaining about the lack of $$ the first few years in public school I just decided it was worth it to me to buy my own "stuff" and not have to stress out or worry about not having it. I got really good at bargain shopping on ebay, freecycle, and Goodwill.

    I recommend Donors Choose, I know a few people on-line who have received numerous donations from that site.
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    YIKES! That is a lot of money to spend every year.
     
  11. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Dec 21, 2009

    Lol, I love it, Lakeshore threw up in your classroom. I felt the same way--I was in a Head Start last year. Hated the program, loved all the supplies available.

    We were given a bit more than that in my public school program, but I just don't think they realize how kids go through consumables. Like I said, I'm supposed to have writing paper available every day. Well, when kids scribble on one side and then do that to about 10 pages, the paper runs out. (We've been talking lately about how paper comes from trees and how we should use both sides and I've brought in recycled computer paper if we want to "scribble".)

    I asked for white paint about two months ago to do winter/snow pictures and was told we didn't have the money. Despite being a top seller for our school fundraiser, my program doesn't see that money because we are not funded by the school. And I was told not to ask parents for money or "gifts" because some are low-income. Luckily I did have one parent bring in a whole tub of bandaids and tissues, so we're set for the year with those. And I made friends with my janitor so we always have enough paper towels, t.p., and extra tissues.

    I haven't added it up (afraid to!) but I'm sure I've spent at least $1,000.

    I'll check out Donor's Choose--I thought it was just for k-12, though.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We have some things left over from previous teachers and things bought for our grade level but it is by all means not perfect. All the teachers in my building do spend some out of pocket. I find myself spending some money. I have not bought consumable supplies except for cooking items. One thing that I like though is that in my wing we have 3 new teachers. We are all trying to SHARE what was given to us so that we don't have to buy too much out of pocket.
     
  13. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Dec 21, 2009

    Donors choose is open to preschool teachers too, see here.
     

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