Supplies as a new teacher?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by MissVXT, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. MissVXT

    MissVXT Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2013

    Umm...so I'm OFCOURSE thrilled about landing my first teaching position. I can't wait to get started...HOWEVER, that panicked, overwhelmed feeling is already starting to kick in. Before getting hired, I KNEW there would be a lot for me to do and a lot for me to purchase...but now that it's official, the reality of the task ahead is setting in. I'm unsure of exactly where I should start :help:

    Keeping in mind that I am virtually a broke, freshly graduated college student (but can still manage a few things) what would be a healthy but not extravagant budget for me to supply an entire room? With the exception of a few packs of notebook paper and about 25 readers, I'm basically starting from scratch. Can anyone give me ideas on where to purchase things for my classroom for the low? "Things" could be furniture, paper, books, etc...Just anything you know/think i'll need.
     
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  3. Listlady

    Listlady Companion

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    Jul 10, 2013

    The first thing I would do (I am only in my second year of teaching) is contact the principal (or other person from the school) and ask if you are allotted any money for supplies and see if he or she can advise you about stocking your classroom. He or she knows that this is your first job, and they won't think less of you for asking. I found that there were several teachers at my school who had all kinds of things they weren't using any more (and they were really happy to have someone get some use out of them).

    The next thing I would do is to look at the standards that you'll have to meet and start making a rough outline of your plans. If you plan your actual work first (at least list the different lessons you'll need to cover, etc.), all the other stuff will be easier.

    You can probably find all sorts of lesson plans and materials for free online, too. I would start searching and putting like ideas into folders. Check out the freebies on the teacherspayteachers.com site. You just have to sign up for membership (which is free).

    For posters and decorations, think about buying inexpensive supplies (poster board, markers, etc.) and having students make them for you. Give them a topic and guidelines, divide them into groups, and make it the first grade of the year. If you are a member of Pinterest, you can do searches for other DIY ideas and such. (Also, look around your house for any materials you may be able to use for organization, crafts, etc. Ask your friends, too!)

    Congrats on your first job! I hope this helps.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 10, 2013

    You can also start going to the penny sales at the office stores. Now-a-days ost of them have implemented a $5 "cover charge" before you can get the real cheap stuff, but they will usually allow you to buy a few more of each item if you can prove you are a teacher. (You may need a letter from your P since you won't have a teacher ID yet)
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jul 10, 2013

    First, find out if there is a warehouse for the district. We have a warehouse where we send any furniture we don't want. Teachers can go to the warehouse and pick out anything they see to be taken to their classroom. Big lots has been a good source for bookshelves. Target dollar spot and Dollar Tree or 99 cent stores are good for posters, desk tags, and decorations for cheap. Scholastic book clubs is the best place to get books, they probably won't open the website until mid August.

    Also, garage sales are a great place to find lots of things.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 10, 2013

    I too would be looking where ever you can find deals. Classroom supplies can add up very quickly, so you want to be careful. Books are going to be very important, so you will eventually want to beef up that classroom library of yours. Gem (on this site) has an online bookstore of children´s books and teaching resources at a very affordable price. I have bought books from her several times (actually I am itching to take a look at what she has on there right now). Here is the link:http://www.sproutclassrooms.com/
     
  7. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2013

    You can also get a lot of books for cheap at thrift stores, or a Goodwill. That's how I got a majority of my books for my library the first year :)
     
  8. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 10, 2013

    I actually preferred the look of making my own posters. I used markers and colored pencils and felt the look was not as harsh and overwhelming as bright store-bought posters. I had a lot of reference posters up at the time I did that and was totally broke.

    Inexpensive doesn't have to be cheap looking.

    Border-Dollar Tree is my favorite, but also consider alternatives like a roll of admit one raffle tickets (found at Walmart) or decorate plain sentence strips with collages from cut magazines.
    Thrift stores always have binders and items to help you get organized.
    Look for freebies and used furniture for big savings.
    Rugs--buy a remnant or ask for a donation. You might be able to paint it somehow if you want to make it "cute".
    Ask for supplies. One thing you can do is ask a colleague to borrow posters and bulletin board sets to start the year off. Typically they will have something for you to borrow and likely they will give you a pile of things to keep. Asking to borrow something is a good way to open up the conversation for donations though.
    Lessons and resources are free all over the web.
     
  9. MissVXT

    MissVXT Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2013

    Thank you ALL for the great information. I really like all of these ideas and will utilize ALL of them. I just found out that my mom's good friend is retiring from 4th grade. She said I can come by and get whatever I want! I'll be in 2nd grade, but I'm sure she has some materials that will work for me as well :) :thumb:.

    Since I've joined AtoZ, EVERYTHING is starting to fall into place. Coincidence? Maybeeeee, maybe not :haha:
     
  10. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2013

    Great news about the 4th grade materials. You may find some good usable items. Otherwise, definitely contact the school about materials. Each district supplies different things. Many teachers here enjoy having more than the district supplies and therefore go shopping. Other districts supply almost nothing. Of course, no matter what is supplied, you may be glad you spent a couple of dollars at the penny sales.
    It's your first year though. Most likely, as you settle into your classroom you'll decided what you need most. Make a list. Soon you'll be able to afford a few items. Spending a dollar at Dollar Tree for cheap border is a better use of money at this time than the teacher specific stores. Be careful you don't spend money on things you won't need.
     
  11. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Jul 16, 2013

    Have a fun little spree and buy yourself some cute border you like. One package will be more than enough for a regular sized bulletin board. They are around $4.00 a set. My favorite color combination is black background paper with a bright border. It may sound gloomy, but the black paper looks so clean and makes colors pop. You might also want to buy a calendar set you like. Some math programs come with one, but I always liked having a fun one. Don't feel that you need to buy a bunch of posters (science, parts of speech, colors, etc). I ended up not using hardly any of the ones I bought my first year. Have fun!!
    Think about what you want to keep in your desk and begin collecting some essentials. Fun pens, note pads, Tylenol, drink mix, femanine products, thank you notes, Lysol wipes, etc.
     
  12. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Jul 16, 2013

    I'm going into my second year, so your feelings/worries are pretty fresh in my mind since it was only a year ago!

    Find out what the school provides before you buy anything, especially in terms of supplies - for the kids (pencils, crayons, scissors), for the classroom (pencil sharpener, tissues, etc), and for you (stapler, tape dispenser, 3 hole punch, adult scissors, etc). That stuff really adds up and you don't want to buy things that will already be provided!

    Honestly? I would really REALLY focus on books above all else. The cute decorating stuff is wonderful and everything, but to me, the classroom library is the heart of the classroom. I spend a lot of money on books. Library sales, thrift stores, and ebay (look for "lots" of books to find cheaper prices), and even Craigslist are good places to start.

    Borders are not too terribly expensive, honestly. Lakeshore has them for 20% off right now. They also have paper for 20% off right now - regular and fadeless, I believe.

    I bought a lot of stuff after school started last year and I realized what I really needed. Before school, I focused on bulletin board materials, BOOKS, a little rug and pillows for the library, baskets for the library books, and MORE BOOKS. ;)

    That's great that you are getting materials from a retiring teacher! You will likely be able to find a lot there, even if it's from an older grade.

    Have fun! :)
     
  13. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2013

    I know books are super important, but I'd caution you not to go out and buy a ton of them until you know what your school will be providing. I bought a lot of my own books before I was hired, and I ended up not using some of them because my school provided a lot of books for me.

    However, I would buy books that have a "back to school" or "community/friendship" feeling to help you set classroom expectations. Those are really helpful in starting the year off right, plus you can find many free activities that go along with common back to school books on teacherspayteachers.com or on teacher blogs.

    As you start the year, if you find that what you have isn't enough, Scholastic Book Clubs is a great place to get books. I did end up buying several from there about specific topics that we were going to be studying in science and social studies.

    Yay for your first teaching job! It is such an exciting time!! :)
     
  14. Waterburyk9

    Waterburyk9 Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2013

    If you live in a town with a bigger company call and ask to speak to the facility admin- she or he is the person who can "gift" things to teachers or non-profits.
    They normally have extra furniture that is not up to par for their company- but a coat of paint and it is good to go.
    I am lucky enough to be looking for a job while working at a company that has "scratch and dent" that they will not use. the facility lady is great hear and I have gotten materials for me and the place that I student taught at...
    A phone call and some nice words can get you lots of things!
    I am attempting the same concept with a pharmaceutical company and hope to get "science" stuff for my yet to exist classroom- thinking eye droppers, different size measuring materials etc.
    every little bit helps!
     

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