Rant!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teacherwithlove, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2012

    Ahhhh!!! I've literally spent 1/2 of my tiny paycheck on supplies, manipulatives, etc. etc. for the next school year... and I did it all in one day!

    Being a teacher is SO EXPENSIVE!!!!:wow:

    Why can't we get paid more so the money spent on our class doesn't make a HUGE dent in our wallets?

    AHH! :dizzy:
     
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  3. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Jun 28, 2012

    Shouldn't you be reimbursed for all that stuff?
    That's the kind of stuff that the school should provide for your class. Now! If your school is a poor one, and you feel obligated to buy stuff, then it's a whole diff ballgame.
    Rebel1
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 28, 2012

    But that's her point. It shouldn't be a different ballgame because her school can't afford to supply students with necessary items. :(
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's hard, but I think that we all need to get on board and stop funding our classrooms. It's one thing to buy supplies and materials for our own personal use when it makes our professional lives better. I buy pens that I like and colored tabbed file folders because those things make me happy and more organized. But to pay for basic educational materials for our students? No. We need to draw the line somewhere. If we all stopped doing it, maybe the powers that be would start to really see and understand what we do for our students. The fact is that our students will learn without fancy posters and manipulatives and new books. We need to go back to basics and find a way to teach effectively without all those sorts of things if the only way for us to have them is to buy them ourselves.
     
  6. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Jun 28, 2012

    It is a whole different ballgame!
    It's a game where we go into knowing the situation, and we don't know when to stop spending our own money. I have been there and done that, so I know the feeling TWL. I still do it but not as much as before. Nobody tells me to do it but it makes my day knowing that I am making a positive difference in the lives of children who are in my care. If they are happy with what they use for learning, IT MAKES TEACHING EASIER, and I am a happier teacher, SO it is a different ballgame!
    We live to teach another day; JUST WITH BETTER MATERIALs, HAPPIER CHILDREN, BUT still with a school that can't afford to get what we need. Remember though, you can always leave if you don't want to do it anymore, and find a school that would reimburse, and allow you to have MORE money in your purse!:D
    Rebel1
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 28, 2012

    Sometimes I'm not sure if you're screaming at me or not... :confused:

    My point was, I don't believe a teacher feeling the need to spend his or her own money while teaching at a low-income school should be chalked up to "you knew it going in" (which I certainly don't think is always true) or "just be happy you're making a difference".
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I agree with this. I did this in my classroom last year. It's hard to not get the things I think the students "need" but my budget is very tight and I literally just can't afford to spend my own money on classroom supplies. For example, in my math groups we almost always used small white boards/markers. I was always having to buy new markers since with students using them constantly they dried out quickly- and they are expensive! By Spring I kept a couple that I needed to write on the main white board and had the students start using pencil and paper instead of the boards with the markers. Of course they didn't like it as much, but did it still teach the same concept? Yep. I told them they were welcome to bring in their own markers to use in class if they wanted. Of course I had no takers on that one. I believe next year I'm getting a 200 dollar supply budget and then obviously the 250 that is tax deductible...450 for a classroom should really be plenty. I plan on prioritizing what I really, really need (not just what would be nice to have) and not spending anything over that.
     
  9. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2012

    The first 15 years of my teaching career were spent in high poverty areas, and I spent more of my own money on my classroom and those children than I care to think about. It was always such a difficult balancing act. I never really spent a lot on really pricey manipulatives or things like that (because I teach ELA), but I did buy TONS of paper, markers, pens, glue sticks, rules, construction paper, folders, books for independent reading, etc. I would *easily* spend $400-500 a year, sometimes more. I did it because I wanted to make my classroom exciting and productive, and I felt those tools helped.

    Then I found Adopt-a-classroom and Donor's Choose! I was able to fund some really big projects that way, including many, many class sets of books. :)
     
  10. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I agree that it's stuff a school or parent should provide.
    But I disagree with your comment about poor schools.
    They are the ones who teachers should provide the least and get funded.

    This last year my classroom no longer had tissue for blowing noses. Just ran out. Others teachers bought some but I put out toilet paper I took from the bathroom.
    It was an eye opener to many who entered my room.
    I had some parents purchase some for the class, others for just their child, but I only purchased mine for home!
    The toilet paper came up at a board meeting. :lol:
    It's what it took to put the issue on the map and a step towards not buying things ourselves.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 28, 2012

    And this is why schools need to have teacher budgets (even in low income areas).
     
  12. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Jun 28, 2012

    NAH! Just the way my fingers work!:D
    I just can't BREAK the habit.;)
    It is a matter like some have mentioned where you need to just ease it up and let the school provide. It is hard but you have to. Some parents will be willing to help out too. In the low income school I worked at, a LOT of the parents did not mind helping out with some of the stuff the children needed. Sometimes all you have to do is ASK. It is still not fair that you have to spend a lot of your money, BUT if you don't mind because you want to make a BIG POSITIVE DIFF then it is in your court. You can be taken advantage of, SO just learn to say NO, and let them know how you feel.:angel: THEY will find a way to provide, once they realize that you are not doing it anymore!
    Rebel1
     
  13. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I work in a Title I school district where we have no funds for anything beyond a new textbook here and there. We are also told not to send home a wish list to parents, asking for school supplies because education is public and FREE. Therefore, that leaves me with out of pocket expenses that are leaving a huge hole in my pocket. Sad to say but I've actually asked my fmily and my boyfriend's family to donate $$ and supplies to my classroom. I'd also like to add that my salary qualifies me for the working poor level in our social stratification...
     
  14. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jun 28, 2012

    Until all teachers decide to stop funding supposed "free" public education, this will continue.

    It is entirely possible to teach with minimal supplies. Like, a chalkboard and chalk. Fun, engaging, entertaining teaching? No. But possible.

    But it won't happen if the teacher next door has spent half her salary on fancy manipulatives. It either has to be all or none.
     
  15. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I actually spent LESS money on classroom supplies when I worked at a Title I school because there was so much money floating around that had to be spent. The literacy coach would literally walk into my classroom a few times a year and say, "I have to spend $60,000 by tomorrow, what do you want?" I had more technology (smart boards, document cameras, and mounted projectors in every classroom), and more resources there than I do at my current, non Title I school. It is just as hard for me now to get parents to donate kleenex and extra glue sticks, etc. as the year goes on as it was before. I try to not pick up things personally, unless it is essential to a learning goal and the objective cannot be met any other way (such as what waterfall did by using paper/pencil instead of whiteboards).
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I agree with this post 100%. If it is to make our job easier because we want something different than what is supplied, then we pay.

    We need to redefine our ideas of NEED not only on our side but what we require of families to purchase.
     
  17. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I have made it my goal not to spend very much on my classroom this year. I will probably buy some folders and pencils, but not much else. I don't really need to buy posters or bulletin board sets as I pretty much have what I need. This will be my 15th year teaching, and now that I have kids, I am not going to be spending very much money this year. I have my twins to worry about and not other people's kids (my students). I love my students, but I know that my twins come first....so that is where the money will go from now on.
     
  18. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Jun 28, 2012

    Come on guys. No one is putting a gun to our head and making us spend our own money. If you spend part of your paycheck on this stuff, then that's completely your own decision, and to me it really indicates that you do have the disposable income to do so, otherwise you would never make that decision. I personally have never spent one dime on classroom materials and I never will, because I truly can't afford it.
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    First of all, middle/high school is a different ball game, IMO. Preschool and primary grades require a significantly higher amount of manipulatives and materials for hands-on learning. I have been attending a math class all week, and everything we have been doing is hands-on. Sure, for some activities you can print the materials off the internet, but sometimes you need base 10 blocks, cusinaire rods, wooden 3D shapes, etc. It's best practice.

    With that being said, I also spend my own money on my classroom. I spent $120 four years ago on sturdy book bins for my classroom library. Could I have gone to the dollar store? Sure, but my friends who went to the dollar store 2 years ago are already replacing their books bins. They have spend almost $100 already. Mine look as good as new. There are things that I "need" for my classroom, and there are things that I do not need, and I pretty much have to buy it all myself. In many instances, I could have gone a cheaper route, but I like to purchase quality things that will last. I do not teach in a low-income district, but I am not reimbursed for anything. We get $150 in February to spend for the following school year, and we can only order out of 3 different catalogs.

    If I want to spend $500 on my classroom this year, I will, and it is nobody else's business. I'm not going to be part of a big movement to boycott teachers buying things for their classroom. It's my money, and my choice.
     
  20. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Jun 28, 2012

    :yeahthat: I totally agree!
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The problem is, I have not a doubt in my mind that a teacher who made do with only what was provided in a school that provides very little would be looked upon as being less effective and committed by some administrators.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    ...And by some other teachers as well.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Absolutely.
     
  24. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Jun 28, 2012

    This is SOOOOO TRUE!!! When one of my close friends got a high school math job last year as a first year teacher, he hardly needed to buy anything!! I, on the other hand, as a first year teacher, can never seem to STOP needing to buy things! :lol: I'm not complaining, because I would *never* want to teach high school and have great respect for those who do - but there is just a huge difference!

    I am very lucky because although we don't get a budget for supplies (pretty normal around here), my school has a supply room with basically everything the kids could possibly need - pencils, crayons, whiteboard markers (I was VERY excited that they have student whiteboard markers), paper, etc etc. However, my biggest money pit is BOOKS!!! My library is only about 1/3 of the size I want it, and it's already cost a couple hundred dollars at least. (I haven't kept track...lol) And that is with using library sales, ebay, etc etc. Only a handful of the books were purchased new.

    I would never expect to be provided with that, though...it's really my choice. I guess I just have a different perspective because my mom is an elementary teacher and she has always spent LOTS of money on her classroom/kids, so I just always assumed it would be that way for me as well.
     
  25. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Which is not fair at all...I also hate when administrators give more credit and recognition to teachers who stay late and put in a lot of extra hours.
     
  26. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I guess that's possible, but it hasn't been my personal experience. I don't know of any teacher who buys stuff with their own personal funds. Of course, my experience is in high school, so I guess elementary may have different expectations.
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I have to wholeheartedly agree with you on this!

    Last year, I wanted to do a watercolor and crayons art project with my kids and my school wouldn't provide the supplies.

    Could I have forgotten all about the art project because my school wouldn't give me watercolors and crayons? YES. However, I spent my own money to purchase watercolor paper, watercolors, and crayons. I didn't think twice about it, either.

    Every year, I purchase a butterfly garden (the kit comes with live caterpillars and a pop-up habitat) for my class. I have former students who've approached me in town and said, "Mr. A--do you remember when we had butterflies in our classroom? That was sooooo cool." It always brings a smile to my face when they remember that experience.

    Furthermore, I like for my kids to use white boards with Expo markers on a daily basis. I use the white boards to check for understanding. Could I find other ways to check for understanding? Absolutely! Does my school provide me with Expo markers and white boards? Nope! I buy my own materials because I want to.

    Every year, my mom purchases Easter baskets, plastic eggs, candy, and basket grass for each of my 25 students. She does this because she knows that my kids come from a high-poverty area of town and that they probably won't have an Easter egg hunt at home. Anyway, she does this for my kids because she knows that I spend a lot of money on them throughout the year.

    In short, I wouldn't want anyone suggesting that I shouldn't spent (a portion of) my hard-earned paycheck on my kiddos. Yes--many colleagues have told me that I'm crazy to spend money on my students. I, however, remind them that I do it because I want to, but because I have to. :2cents:
     
  28. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I'm one who spends quite a bit of money on my classroom. I can afford it. In the early years of teaching I couldn't afford it and my classroom didn't look as nice. Is that important for education? Not really. But I have to be in that environment all day every day. It's like an extension of my home.

    I'm fortunate that I don't have to buy student supplies. Even though we have many low income families, most manage to send crayons, etc. We also have a budget for that sort of thing.

    However, over the years I've spent $1000s on dvds, cds, bins, etc.

    I did have to smile at this one. I get my caterpillars for free outside. :) We have the same experience with $0 expense.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oh, I'm one who spends money on my classroom and students as well...lots of it. But at the very same time I see the problems in that. And I think it's fairly easy, because we're human, to perhaps feel a bit superior to those who don't. Stronger word than what fits, but same idea. "Oh, I love my kids so I do it." "Oh, because I want my students to learn, I went ahead and bought the supplies for the project."
     
  30. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I have definitely felt this attitude at many schools I've been in. Especially with the other attitude that is so common in schools today with the job market- "If you don't want to do it, there are thousands of others that would give anything to have your job." I don't spend extra money on my class b/c I literally can't afford it. I certainly hope no one thinks I am a worse teacher b/c of that.
     

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