It's only money, right?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Andrea L, Jul 19, 2011.

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  1. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Jul 21, 2011

    During my first year of teaching I was a single mom so I couldn't afford to spend so much money. I just bought a few posters and borders. I also got a couple of projects funded through donorschoose to get basic things such as pencils, dry erarse markers, chalk, construction paper. My school back then provided very limited supplies so I had to spend some money. Two of my coworkers who were very young and single spent a lot of money. One of them spent over $2500 for her classroom and her classroom was beautiful.

    Now, that I can spend a little more, I actualy do. I mostly spend money on books about teaching and classroom supplies. I try to save as much as I can also. Last year I bought these old paper trays and I spray painted them a nice color and they look nice. I also go to garage sales to see if I can find things that I may need. Like, I once found a working electrical pencil sharperner for $3.00 and about 6 of unopened packages of transparencies for $2.00 each. I still have some.

    I have so much stuff now that I'm thinking about going to the teacher store that I love but I don't know what to get as I already have so much.
     
  2. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Regarding prison cells and 3rd grade reading scores - yes, I am dead serious. The powers that be use the statistics from 3rd grade standardized reading tests to determine the number of new prison cells to build.
     
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 21, 2011

    Do you have a source/link for that? I'm curious and would like to read more about it.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm still not getting the problem with red, cheap sheets even if they were for your son and not your classroom. It's definitely not something I think would be talked about at the lunch table. I'm feeling a little confused. :haha:

    We all value things differently. Some wouldn't put any money into an inviting room while others would (and do). I certainly use my money to enhance the classroom.

    I understand the argument that if you want conditions to improve for teachers (as in, the fact that we so often spend our own money not only for decorations but for books and supplies) then we should unit and say NO MORE! The idea being, of course, that if we starting working with what we were given and demonstrated how that negatively impacts learning that perhaps there would be a shift and teachers wouldn't have to spend their own dollars. I get it, but I just don't want to wait around for that to happen while I sacrifice my own happiness (because being in a comfortable space makes me happy) and while students get crapped on.
     
  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2011

    Is there something wrong with a room that is decorated in butcher paper, old borders, and the same posters every year?
     
  6. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    No, I don't think there is anything wrong with it. Just like there is nothing wrong with a teacher wanting to spend money on things that will make the classroom more comfortable/inviting for them and the students. It's similar to people decorating their homes--just different styles/approaches for different people.
     
  7. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Well, I for one don't really care how much other teachers spend on their classrooms. Isn't the end result to just have a happy, safe, classroom? Whether you spend $0 or $10 or $150 on decorations, the fact is, it's what you, as the teacher, bring into the classroom (your ideas, your enthusiasm, your knowldge, your patience, etc). You CAN teach anything without having to spend lots of money. It just takes some creativity and know-how on your part. But, if some teachers want to spend extra money to decorate their room, then let them be. In fact, I remember a few of my decorations that I did purchase came from the dollar section at Target. For example, I bought two packets of those multiplication flash cards to create a border. :)

    I, for one, spent basically nothing to decorate my room. My decorations came from the students (my kids would make decorations for the holidays if they had free time or part of a fun art lesson :)). My posters were developed throughout the year, with the students.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Most of the money I spend is on instructional items like new games and books, or items for the students to use like composition books. I don't buy everything I've ever wanted, but if buying a class set of composition books ensures every kid has one (I'm at the poorest school in the district), then there is certainly an educational benefit from my use of my money.

    I do have a decorating theme but that has actually saved me money in decorating.

    When I was teaching third, our curriculum specialist gave us the prison cell research. It's been a while and I don't remember the source, but I've heard of it as well.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    No, not necessarily...but it is possible such a room gives off an uncomfortable or cold vibe. Trust me—I don't give my room a makeover each August, but it seems every year a little something is removed or added or spruced up.

    Like amakaye said, the various ways teachers handle the classroom environment is just like the various styles or degrees of decor in a home. Some are minimalistic and streamlined while other homes look like antique museums. Neither is better or worse generally speaking, but both work for the individual homeowner.
     
  10. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2011

    I agree with that, I would just prefer to save the money I make for me and my actual house.
     
  11. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    And some people decide that they spend as much (or more) time at school, so they want their room to be just as comfortable.
     
  12. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    me too. But when I didn't understand the second time around especially about the lunch table part I assumed everyone got some inside joke but me.:confused:
     
  13. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Jul 21, 2011


    See, I didn't have that option. I inherited a stripped down room with no borders, no posters, nothing. The butcher paper is locked up until school starts at the end of August and I decided I didn't want to wait until after school started to decorate my room.

    So I had to buy a lot of decorations for my room. I had to buy every poster, every border, fabric, etc., and I am still not finished.
     
  14. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    $150 is a reasonable investment if it's stuff that you can keep. I try not to spend money on decorations. I bought letters at the Dollar Tree this year, and I didn't have a bulletin board for border. I'll need border for the coming year. I usually buy sentence strips, but all this stuff is reimbursed. I spend my money mostly on materials like instructional books.
     
  15. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    That would be me. And, being a Montessori teacher, our environments are supposed to be comfortable, homey, uncluttered, and child centered. I spend a lot of time at school, so it works for me to invest money into my environment and make it feel good for me.
     
  16. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Unfortunately, not at this time - my hubby is out of town on business... I'll have him check when he gets home (the prison ministry he is involved in is the first place I heard it). Meanwhile, I'll check with some of the admin at my school board - it has also been quoted by them in workshops.
     
  17. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Jul 21, 2011

    I spend good amounts of money on my 2 classrooms. I want it to be comfortable for me and my students. Every year I receive compliments from students, parents, colleagues, & supervisors and that makes it worth it. Many things I buy can be used multiple years. Also I try to find deals as much as possible. In case someone hasn't mentioned this...be sure to save your receipts & itemize at tax time. :D
     
  18. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 21, 2011

    I bet there is information in a google search about the 3rd grade test score/prison cell corrolation. I did also hear that information during a professional development session once.

    3rd grade reading test scores are also supposedly very similar to 8th grade ones (once the same child reaches 8th grade).

    As far as spending money on the classroom...... My personal/philosophical budget each year is $200.00 total.

    However, each year I tend to spend on different things.

    Some years it is class sets of supplies that I can reuse. Other years it is bulletin board materials. Others it is organizational materials.
     
  19. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Jul 21, 2011

    I seriously have to commend Aliceacc on that sheet idea though!

    I went out this evening and bought a single maroon sheet at a local store chain, that was only $4! The yard of fabric that I bought at Walmart was $4.50 and wasn't big enough! I had enough sheet left over that I actually covered the door to my storage closet with it so the kids can't see inside! Great idea.. =)

    Most of what I have bought this year though has been decorations and supplies. I don't think I've gone over $250 yet though, so I'm good ;D not like I have anyone to report to though. Single new teacher, I can do what I want as long as I can pay my bills!
     
  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 21, 2011

    So on the first day of school, your walls were bare?

    Didn't you purchase borders and such?
     
  21. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I did the exact same thing! My room is a bit smaller than most being a special ed room, but this year I'm getting a full size classroom and intend to do the same thing. Most of one of my walls was covered with goal charts for IEP goals. The students got to track their progress with stickers or coloring in the blocks. So for example it said "I can read this many words in one minute" and underneath I had a table with increments of 5 wpm going all the way up to their goal. I gave the students a choice to keep their chart private in case anyone wanted to, but they all wanted them on the wall. These were up at the beginning of the year when school started, so it wasn't a blank wall to begin with or anything.

    My big bulletin board had all my students names in stars and I had them write one thing they were good at and one goal for the year on the first day. We also made a big poster of our "community expectations" that I created with the students and had them all sign at the bottom. My abc chart and touch math references took up some space on the walls also, and then I also had a word wall. I also had a "refrigerator" where students could put up any work they were proud of. Other than that, I bought a few decorative posters and some border from the target dollar bin. My room was really student centered and cheap! I spent around 400 last year (as a first year teacher), and a lot of that was on supplies and things like that, not decorations. We also get any color of butcher paper free at school so that's what I use for bulletin boards.

    This year I will spend a little more because I have a bigger room and will be able to do more with it. I want to have a "reading corner" for kids with extra time, group work, and to maybe even have some of my reading groups meet there just to change things up and make them more interesting. So I'll be buying a rug and several body pillows/back rest pillows for that area. I also want a mail center, which I know is going to be a bit pricey.

    I have a 300 dollar budget and am telling myself that I absolutely cannot spend over 450 (so no more than 150 of my own money). I've gotten some really good deals so far.
    20 2 inch binders with 8 tab dividers-65 dollars from classroom.direct
    borders, some decorations, organizers, books, stickers, "extra time" activities, pencils, pens, math games, individual dry erase boards, math maths- all 1 dollar items from target dollar bin- 40 dollars
    easel with dry erase board and easel notepad- 70 dollars
    notebooks, folders, other basic supplies- 15 dollars from walmart
    about 20-30 chapter books to add to my free choice reading area- 10 dollars from goodwill
     
  22. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I have been struggling with this issue this year. Last year I taught part-time, so I felt less obligated to have a "perfect" classroom. This year I will be full-time, so I'm trying to spruce things up. I've spent a few hundred dollars this summer, and at this point I'm just feeling frustrated and tired of spending money. I'm a private school teacher, and my salary is a lot lower than most. I would honestly rather teach part-time, to be more available for my own family, but we need the money, so I'm teaching full-time.

    Sometimes it feels like some kind of competition between teachers to see who can be the biggest martyr. This isn't just with how much money they spend, though that is a big part of it, but also coming to work with the flu, or being uncomfortable for three hours because you don't want to ask another teacher to watch your class so you can take a restroom break.

    I'm beginning to resent the expectation that teachers will spend so much money to do the job they were hired to do. I actually want to keep my paycheck.
     
  23. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I love your lists of what you got for your classroom! Your students will so appreciate having a welcoming environment to learn and work in---and you'll be happy too!

    So far I've spent $100 this summer...and I'm not done yet. Hubby gets that I have to buy tools for my job---he does the same thing. We both have an expense budget :)

    I love material for bulletin boards! I used the same material for 2 years in a row--not recommended,but stayed in my budget and worked both years for me. This year, I splurged on deep discounted material from JoAnns and redecorated the boards. I'm in love all over again with my room!

    For the no frills type of folk out there who need to stick to a cheap budget during the first years....I also use wide ribbon (2" or wider) by the spool instead of paper boarders on my bulletin boards. I found discounted ribbon 2 years ago that matched the discounted material for my bulletin boards and lived with them for 2 years. I spluged on new ribbon this year for a new look---and still found discounted ribbon to match. I still have paper boarders that I use on a theme board :)
     
  24. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Jul 22, 2011

    Even though I have different kids every year I still want my room to change every year. So what I'm doing is taking my color scheme & keeping some things the same & changing others. My colors for my room are purple. lime green, & bright blue.
    I bought a lime green fabric for my gen. music room. I plan on using it multiple years. (I know often people recommend black...but I just couldn't do it). All my crates are green. My curtains were green & purple last year. I have beanbags that are all 3 colors thanks to Big Lots & their great deals. I'm switching them out to blue & green this year. I also plan on rotating borders every year. Borders really last a long time as long as you take care of them. I have even laminated some to really prolong their life. I also change up the motivational posters I use each year. (I can't wait to post pictures once I get into my rooms in August. This is my 2nd year in my rooms & I did my design layouts before summer break.) :D
     
  25. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 22, 2011

    Your original comment was a bit harsh and judgemental though. Perhaps, we should keep in mind that we are all real people on the other side of the computer monitor. This forum is a very respectful place and I would hate to think anyone here would feel attacked over a casual conversation.
     
  26. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2011

    Classroom

    This year will be my third year using the same fabric for my bulletin boards. It has absolutely resisted fading. I hate, hate, hate hanging butcher paper---it fades, has to be pieced together (whereas fabric is the perfect width), and it can't be reused--not earth friendly! I recycle and repurpose everything and anything that I can. Oatmeal bins make excellent containers for various activities. I cover them with construction paper and label them.
    I repurposed a duvet cover last year and made pillows for my reading corner too.
     
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