Seriously...Do I need to buy things for my class?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MsBee, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Hopefully this thread will help many of us first year teachers/soon to be first year-looking for jobs teachers! lol

    I have told many of you that I am low on money. Big time. I have been to Goodwill, craigslist, begged, got donated items and have searched the web for ways to make things. My mom keeps telling me not to buy a lot of things because I will more than likely have things in my room already. Or will get somethings in kits when I get a job.
    She keeps telling me to wait until I get a job and then see what I need, but then I come on here and many of you say to start now.

    What am I to do?
    What is the likelyhood that I will already have somethings in my class?
    I have NOTHING when it comes to centers but I do have TONS and TONS of books. Probably over 300 books. So I have been lucky with that.

    Or should I keep on looking and buying things. Like rugs and seats for my reading center. Should I buy or wait?
    What should I buy and what should I wait on. Lots of questions here but you guys get what I am saying.
    Besides you all should know me by now and know that I tend to ask LOTS of questions. :lol:
     
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  3. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    If you are low on money, I'd just wait. You will still have time. You will probably be surprised how your team will help you out. I know you are eager to get going but I'd wait until you know the grade.

    I think the likelihood is high there will be somethings in your class. Don't worry about centers, yet. If you don't have a young grade you probably won't even do anything like that.

    Kids don't need seats in a reading center. They love to sit on the floor (I have carpet)

    Really and truly, if the funds are low I wouldn't buy anything except the one cent pencils at Staples;)
     
  4. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    McBee, wait if you're low on money. When you get to your school check out the junk room and see what's there. The teacher who was in the room before you may have left a world of goodies!
     
  5. Lionteacher

    Lionteacher Companion

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    I wouldn't buy anything until you are in your classroom to see what you have. In my last building I have nothing in my new building there are tons of things left by the previous teacher. I think it just depends on what the teacher that was there before you and why they left.

    If funds are low then I would wait just to see what you have.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    If money is low already, then I would wait. Use what you have to relocate if needed. More than likely you can get alot from your teammates, the previous teacher probably left alot, and sites like freecycle.org.
     
  7. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Okay I'm going to wait. I wished I would have waited months ago. I have been buying lots of things.
    My mom is a teacher and has given me things so a lot of things have been from her but just little stuff here and there that I see are cute I buy. I'm going to wait.
     
  8. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Also, find out if your State will give you any money. All the new teachers in our State receive $1800 to start up their class rooms. Contact your State Dept. of Ed.
     
  9. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    ChaChing! That is amazing!!
     
  10. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    If you will let your parents know what you need some of them will probably come through for you. Over the years I have been given a rug, a microwave, and $250.

    I also make a Wish List for small items like highlighters, post-it's etc. and always have a generous reponse from this.

    Hope this helps!!!! Money troubles are no fun, but don't worry. You can still have an amazing classroom on a low buget. You've already got a great idea with making things yourself.
     
  11. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    MAN!! I knew my parents raised me up in the wrong state!!
     
  12. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I would wait because you have no idea what grade level you'll be teaching. In June I was placed in kindergarten, but as of last week I will be teaching 4th grade. As for materials, there is a HUGE difference between kindergarten and 4th grade.

    I need to contact my state to see if I can get some mulay!
     
  13. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Wouldn't they tell you if you get money? Or do you have to look it up and request it?
     
  14. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    It would not hurt to ask about set up money when you get hired. I would not buy anything else until you know what grade you are teaching. It seems that you may be moving out of state, so you don't want to have too much to move.
     
  15. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I would wait to buy things, too. You really don't have any ideas of what you'll need yet. I agree with lemon to only buy things like the penny pencils and Staples that are so cheap that they're basically free.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I agree with the other posters. If you have an irresistable urge to buy something, buy things like pencils and glue sticks that can abe used no matter what grade level you have. Until you are hired, just make "pretend" lists of supplies you might want for each grade level you are qualified to teach so that when you are hired, you have already done some homework about what things you think you might need.
     
  17. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Given your specific situation I would wait. I've worked in 4 schools.

    Twice I took over for retiring teachers who LEFT ME EVERYTHING they had bought in their careers.

    Once the room looked like it had tumbleweed blowing through it because it was so bare. Luckily, I had already aquired everything I needed.

    Most recently I landed in a happy medium. The district provides all the required curriculum and it is so structured that I really don't have time to add in too many extras.

    The problem with stocking up on rugs/chairs/pillows/etc. is that some schools band these because of fire codes, lice and other reasons.

    Good luck!
     
  18. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    We didn't receive our money from the state until November.

    For now, I'd concentrate just on things you NEED to get through the 1st week. Staples, paper clips, pens, etc.

    One nice trick I learned... posters. They are expensive. Just get a few that you really, really love... then have the kids make "How To Be Me" mini-posters on plain copy paper. They write down all the things they like/don't like to do and decorate them. Then you laminate, hang and voila! - your classroom is decorated, each student feels like a part of the class, and you didn't have to spend $$$.
     
  19. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Wait until you know what grade you will be teaching and what school you will be at. Some schools are very generous with their supplies and some you are on your own. See if the room you will be in has supplies left over from the previous teacher. Maybe some of your fellow teachers can help you out. In some schools parents are generous ihn what they donate.Good Luck.
     
  20. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    you will have stuff in your class - but you really have no way of knowing what. And by time you get a job there's not alot of time to then start making things that you don't have.

    I also enjoy having things that I made or I purchased in my room. It makes my room feel more homey. But that is me.

    I agree if you don't have a job, you don't need to spend alot of money and yo don't really want to duplicate alot of what will be in the room.

    However, what exactly is it that you will be making or putting together. If you give us example we can help tell whether that will probably be in the room or not.
     
  21. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    What???? Please get someone to come talk to Texas. Good Lord, what I could do with $1800 to set up a room.
     
  22. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Well to be honest...I haven't started making things yet. Only have ideas on what to make and how. Like student mailboxes. You can make them out of cereal boxes and stuff like that.
     
  23. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    see things like that isn't really taking alot of money. I love to make things for the classroom. - even if it winds up looking like a kindergartener made it.
     
  24. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Yea so far I have 4 cereal boxes. Will have to wait until the end of summer to make them....once I finish 24 boxes of cereal!! lol
     
  25. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    I wouldn't buy a lot either. Just wait and see what you get!

    (But then hardly any teachers where I live spend their own money on teaching supplies. No carpets or own curtains, no "cosy" objects of any kind and no supply of free gifts or rewards to the kids. No class themes or posters unless the kids help make it themselves.)

    Even if you don't get a lot, I'm sure you'll have a board of some sort and desks and chairs for the kids. Kids love to sit on the floor. They'll be used to whatever it is you do with your room when they are there. Don't the schools have a class set for each class with crayons, pencils, markers etc?

    I'm sure you can ask the parents for extras as the American custom is in classrooms.

    But either way -a good teacher teaches well whether with or without abundant supplies and cosy nooks. If you prepare for not having much extra you'll be happier for whatever you get, which it seems like you're doing really well. :thumb:

    BTW If you wont be able to eat 24 more boxes of cereal before school starts, maybe you can ask for cereal boxes from the students too?

    I think you'll do great! Good luck! :hugs:
     
  26. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    I have no money to spend on my classroom this year either. I'll be going into my 3rd year of teaching but I'm still poor! Last year I lucked out because I shared a room and the other teachers decorated it, but this year I don't know if I will be. Also, my first year my school paid for everything that I used to decorate with (but it was a different school than where I currently work).

    The months of August through December suck so much. I always need new clothes/supplies in August/September, then from October-December I'm saving for and buying Christmas stuff for my family. Ugh!
     
  27. MathManTim

    MathManTim Companion

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    :agreed:

    The man who has been teaching geometry for the past couple of years is letting me have *all* of his geometry materials. With my taking over geometry, he's movin' on up (insert Jeffersons theme here) to teach precalculus and calculus to the seniors.

    MathManTim
     
  28. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    Like everyone else, I think you should wait. Not just because you might be teaching a different grade level, but because teachers spend too much on classrooms in general. (I wrote a much more direct version of this opinion on my blog).

    If classroom setup and decoration is not so important to the school district that they provide for your needs, then they must have different priorities. You can be a caring and wonderful teacher without bankrupting yourself on your classroom.
     
  29. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    I'm going to check out your blog.
     
  30. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    I'm in a similar position. I have signed a "commitment to employment" out of state but am still a little worried that they won't have a position for me so I'm interviewing with an in-state school tomorrow (story of my life).

    Personally, I didn't know if I would have the same passion for teaching if I subbed for a year and in Ohio jobs for new teachers at the preK-3 level are hard to come by. So... I'm working a desk job where I've worked since high school. Not ideal but it has given me some spending money.

    I'm trying only to buy school supplies that I am certain I can use and other things I will more than likely be able to use in my classroom if they're dirt cheap. I know our situations are different but keep checking out goodwill, craigslist and garage sales. I recently got large pocket charts for $5 from a retired teacher at a garage sale and a class set of sample carpet squares for $3. It's frustrating but if you can find things that are a "must-have" and the price is a steal, consider buying it. But if the price isn't right or you're not sure whether you'll be able to use/store it, you can probably hold off.

    Good Luck!
     
  31. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I would say that its not a bad idea to get things here and there when they are cheap. When I got hired, my classroom had a stapler. Thats it. I was able to order some stuff from our district warehouse, but it was enough for what I personally wanted/needed.

    don't go overboard, keep it cheap... Dollar Tree, Penny Sales, etc.
     
  32. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I would not go overboard buying things. I have been stocking up on things for my daughter--she will student teach in the spring when I see something for a good price on Sprout (Jem's site). I figure if it is cheap enough and she cannot use it, someone can. Hopefully this will give her a start.
     
  33. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    nothermanda,

    I hear what you are saying especially about basic supplies students and teachers should just automatically have. Sounds like you teach middle school which is a different animal, as well. I don't go overboard and will be reimbursed for most things and I don't feel resentful, etc. There have been plenty of years I didn't have money and made the best of what I have. This year I have a little money, time and motivation and I'm having FUN planning, organizing, etc. I get to use my creativity and I enjoy what I am doing. I don't think I need to defend myself, just as I don't feel you have to defend yourself. Ying and yang are good. Take care.
     
  34. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Make a list of must haves. For me that's my favorite pens, my own scissors & stapler. Everything else depends on the grade level. Since I don't have a job yet for fall I'm not buying. But I do "shop" freecycle & craigslist.
     
  35. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    CHECK OUT JEM'S SITE!
    Send her your list and she will hook you UP!
    :D
    Rebel1
     
  36. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    lol.
    I have to check out this freecycle thing. Everyone on here talks about it and I have no idea what it is. Never remembered to look it up.
     

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