Need Some Advice

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ansley McJunkins, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Ansley McJunkins

    Ansley McJunkins New Member

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    Jul 16, 2019

    Hello! Okay so here’s my dilemma, this is my first teaching job, teaching first grade at a small private school where resources are limited. The desks that were given to me for the kids are in pretty rough shape, so I thought it might be a good idea to bring in my own tables. I’ve been looking into the kidney shaped tables and so far the cheapest I found have been around $200. They look to be able to seat about 4 children at each table, but I’m only going to have nine kids this year so I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth spending $400 for two tables and putting four kids at one and five kids at the other. I’m mainly worried about spacing. Is that enough space to put five kids? What makes the most sense? I’m very conflicted. Help please!

    **I’ve gotten permission from Headmaster to bring my own tables if that’s what I end up doing.
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 16, 2019

    Without knowing what tables you are looking at, I would say that it seems like it would be a tight fit.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2019

    No no no. Do not spend this amount of money on tables. The school should be providing adequate seating (shocker, only 9 kids signed up for a class with shabby seating) Either find something through a free cycle site or donation or make do. Maybe someone could help you refurbish what you already have in the room. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES would I spend $400 on tables when there are bettter, more educationally impactful ways to spend your money.
     
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  5. Ansley McJunkins

    Ansley McJunkins New Member

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    Jul 16, 2019

    The class is actually much larger so we split it in half, but I understand what you’re saying @czacza.
     
  6. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2019

    Agreed with above, I would spend that money on other things. If the school can’t afford proper furniture, I’m betting there isn’t a ton of funding for curriculum resources.

    I would find used pieces and refurbish them, check goodwill, look for daycares/childcare centers closing down, etc..
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 16, 2019

    Absolutely do not spend your own money on seating... or anything else the school should be buying, for that matter. Use the old desks they gave you. Why would they ever replace the seating if you are willing to go out and buy it yourself?
     
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  8. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2019

    What do you mean by worn down? I would not spend my money on seating under any circumstances. I would ask your principal if there are any funds to purchase new seating for the kids. Will parents be coming in for an open house? Hopefully, the parents will be unhappy and complain to admin.

    I also would not set the precedent with your principal that you are willing to purchase such expensive items. He may continue to expect it throughout the year.

    As a first year teacher, you are unfortunately probably going to have to spend your money on other things. But you should not purchase desks or chairs.

    I'm not sure how this would work or if it is something you want to do, but with 9 kids, you might be able to implement flexible seating options in your class. I know pinterest has tons of ideas for cheap flexible seating. That way, the kids could have alternate seating besides the desks (when you want them to) but you also wouldn't be spending $500 on tables. I have no experience with 1st grade though so I am not sure if it is a good idea. :)

    If I had 9 students, I would not want a group of 5 and a group of 4. I think three groups of three would be nice so I would prefer using old tables if that was possible.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2019

    A private school more than others is a business and furnishing is a normal expense. Show your headmaster a few tables you like, but expect the school to order them.
     
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  10. SallyD.

    SallyD. New Member

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    Aug 1, 2019

    Do not under any circumstances buy your own table. Not ever! As you've heard before, sit on the floor with your small group. There are tons of alternative seating methods you can use. Purchasing a table is a very unusual solution to your current problem.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  11. QueenBee4th

    QueenBee4th Rookie

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    I've seen a very similar question to this posted by a couple of other people here and in another site. Is this a new thing? I've been teaching for 20 years and have never been asked to expected to buy my own classroom furniture. I would agree with the previous posters - do not buy any furniture for your room, that is absolutely the school's responsibility!
     
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  12. SallyD.

    SallyD. New Member

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    I agree, QueenBee4th. It's strange to read posts about new first grade teachers who are considering purchasing kidney tables with their personal money. No one does that.
     
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  13. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Aug 2, 2019

    You shouldn't be buying basic furniture.

    But also remember when you work at a private school, they take in a certain amount per student -- it's called tuition, and it is supposed to pay for the teacher's salary, the building costs, and all the equipment needed. If tuition isn't doing this, then your school needs to adjust their tuition or re-evaluate their financial priorities, no(or allow) a financially-struggling teacher to provide their own basic furniture! Tables, chairs, and desks are basic furniture. If parents can't afford the tuition, there are usually opportunity scholarships, and there is always public school for a free education. If they want a private education, they need to pay what it costs to provide it.

    You are asking them to take advantage of you. Please don't do that.
     
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  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I work in a private school and it is pretty difficult to get new furniture (I needed a new 2 drawer cabinet) but after following certain protocols (asking anyone in the school if they had one that they didn't want any more) I was able to email my boss the information on what I wanted to order and I got what I wanted. You just have to be persistent and not make them think you will just spend your own money for everything you want. The other teachers might then be expected to do the same and that's not a way to make friends LOL
     
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  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Are the current desks a safety hazard or do they just look beat up? If they are dangerous (at risk of collapsing, broken/sharp edges) you have a strong case for having the school replace them. If they just don't look great, ask for permission to paint them. Do not spend your own money on essential furniture for your classroom.
     
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  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Check out this incident on purchasing stuff for the classroom.
     
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  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That's ridiculous.
     
  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    What a joke!!! My husband would go through the roof if I told him I needed to bring in my household budget to be gone over by my boss :dizzy:
     
  19. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    There's another point to consider -- and that is personal liability. If a child's finger gets pinched in these new tables, or they aren't assembled properly and collapse and hurt someone, or 17 kids try to sit on them all at the same time (lol) then YOU are the one responsible. You are the one who provided the tables. The school simply has to say "It was not authorized." or "it was authorized, but the teacher did not take due care for safety) and the liability lies clearly on you.

    Teachers buy decorations. Furniture and equipment should always be provided by the school directly.

    Just my opinions.
     
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  20. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Aug 11, 2019

    Maybe, maybe not. Parochial schools are considered private, but they are always strapped for funds and are considered non-profits. When I worked at one the kids were sitting on/at furniture that was at least 10 years old when I got there and was still there when I left 11 years later.

    Do not buy your own furniture unless you really want it for you. I bought a swivel bar stool for myself because I did a lot of work at the overhead projector, but I also took it with me. I don't know what you mean by "run down", but save your money on things you will need for teaching later in the year. I'm guessing your pay is low if the school can't afford newer desks or tables. Always ask the admin for what you need before you even think of buying it yourself. The worst that can happen is getting No for an answer.
     

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