What did you buy for your classroom vs. what you were provided

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ms99, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. ms99

    ms99 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I know that the answers to this question will vary greatly, but I'm curious: When you began at your current job what did you buy for your classroom? What were you provided? For example, did you have to go buy basic office supply things like a stapler, tape dispenser, paper clips?

    I've been trying to pick up one small thing a week at the store that I can use in my classroom one day. So far, I've been picking up things like hand sanitizer, markers, tape etc. The way I see it, even if I am provided these things, a little extra never hurt anyone. So my question is partly because I'm curious and partly because I want to see if there's anything that I haven't thought of that I might want to pick up. :p
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    My first year, I received VERY little in the way of any supplies. I was given a total of 5 reams of paper and allowed 100 copies per month - no lamination, no nuthin'.

    New school, for the last two years... I have received approximately 1.5 cases of paper each year, and allowed 300 copies per month. We have an aide who laminates things for us (as long as the laminator is working) each Friday. If I needed staples, they would put some in an envelope and give them to me (my stapler would clog up with them, though, so I needed to buy better staples). I was given about 6 boxes of 12 beginner pencils (the fat ones), and some bandaids. They provided 1 container of toner for the laserjet in my classroom, and some manila envelopes. Pretty much everything else was on me... but then again, I am an office supply junkie, lol.

    Don't let this scare you. I teach in inner-city very low income schools with barely any PTA, and we are often limited in what we are given by restrictions from grant programs.
     
  4. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I was provided dry erase markers, a stapler, and the required curriculum manipulatives. The retiring teacher left me books, pencils, more markers, and a printer. I believe I will be provided with paper for my printer and more staples. I'm not sure if they'll give me tape though...


    I bought pencils, pens, highlighters, tape dispenser, thumb tacks, paper clips, desk calendar, and um... I can't remember what else but I bought most of the basic office supplies.

    I also bought some school supplies today for my kids since not all will bring some with them to school.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Our school actually provides everything we need. If I need it and the resource department (as in literal resources) doesn't have it, they will get it. If we have a budget, I have never been told what it is. Decorative things, however, I either make or buy. But, when I run out of pencils, pens, whiteboard markers, etc, I just right down the materials I need, get my coordinator to sign, and then pick it up from our Resources office.
     
  6. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Our school is awesome with providing us with a stapler, staples, stapler remover, tape, tape dispenser, tacks, clips, paper clips, pens, permanent markers, highlighters, expo markers, file folder labels, hole punches, adult scissors, paint, glue, glue sticks, paper, and construction paper. They have a hard time keeping our supply room stocked with pencils so we end up providing our own.

    I also end up purchasing my own markers, colored pencils, student scissors (for those that don't have them), crayons, name tags/desk plates, art supplies, decorative things, books, and some curriculum.

    We do not have a math curriculum right now, so it's on me to provide or find the curriculum.

    Fortunately, we do have a budget for things like manipulatives, folders, fancy pencils, etc that we can use at the beginning of the school year. Basically, we write down what we'd like and our principal orders it. I don't have a clue how much our limit is, as she has always purchased what I've asked for.

    As mentioned above by others, I think it really depends on the district, location, and principal. I know our principal is very frugal and saves her budget while other principals in our district are out of money by December.

    I would watch for when things go on sale and pick up an item here and there like you mentioned! Good Luck! I know we all spend tons of our own money on supplies needed for our classrooms.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2011

    My school provided all the office supplies I needed, including dry erase markers, paper, and whatnot.

    The things I've supplied for myself have been good pens and art supplies. I think that my school would buy art supplies for me if I asked, but I know that our school is hurting for money and it's probably better for that money to be spent on something more important. I don't mind hitting up the penny sales for glue and construction paper every year. I have a nice stockpile of crayons, colored pencils, markers, scissors, rulers, etc.

    I also provide my own hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and good Kleenex. The school provides boxes of tissue, and I keep those out for the students, but it hurts my nose so I have my own stash.
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 12, 2011

    We get all office supplies and art supplies provided. I have unlimited copies and laminating. Our school will also order anything we need. We got a huge list before school ended this year, and we got to say how many of each thing we thought we would need. It included things like glue sticks, post-its, glitter, pipe cleaners, clay, folders, composition books, markers, loose leaf, pencils, and so forth.

    I buy things like borders, my calendar set, games and activities, resource books that I want to use outside of the curriculum, and so forth. We are given math, science and language arts curriculum, but I supplement a lot with my own things. The curriculum, for instance, wouldn't have a game to play while the other kids are in a small group, so I make or buy games and other things like that.


    When I taught in the inner city, they gave us borders and decorations, but we never had paper or pencils! We had basically nothing except the text books given to us.
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I was provided with "personal office supplies" but not supplies for the students, if that makes sense. We have a room in the office where we can get staples, pens, highlighters, sticky notes, envelopes, dry erase markers, etc. However, I can't just go take 30 pens out for my students to use. I was given a 300 dollar budget though, which was nice. I also had a few things in the classroom that were leftover from previous teachers, presumably things they'd bought with the school budget. The whole touch math series was there, which was really nice. There were also some books and some colored overlays, and some math manipulatives and games. However, most of what was left was scripted curriculum/programs that I never really touched.

    It's a little frustrating for me as a resource teacher, because I can't put out a "supply list" and ask my students to bring in things that they'll be using like the gen ed teachers can. I have my "core" students that are already on IEPs that I have all the time, but I also have anywhere from 10-15 other students coming in and out throughout the year through RtI. So I need about 30 of any general supply. Next year, I know I want a 3 inch binder (for progress monitoring) with tab dividers, two sturdy folders, and a ring with notecards (for sight words) for each student. That alone is going to eat up a lot of my budget, while the gen ed teachers could simply put things like that on their class supply list. I also have to use my money to keep things like pencils, erasers, highlighters, tissues, etc. in stock in my room. My budget is smaller than the regular ed teachers and I am responsible for providing so much more- it's frustrating, although I do recognize that many schools have no budget at all so I should be thankful to get something.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I'm in a Catholic high school in case it matters.

    I could get by with buying practically nothing.

    Bulletin board background is available, as is border. We're given enough notices and religious posters that we could get by without purchasing any.

    We can get office supplies in the book store.

    Xeroxing is unlimited, with the paper supplied by the school.

    We're given a grade book and plan book.

    Most of the stuff I buy at Target and Walmart over the summer are for my own children.
     
  11. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Thanks for starting this thread. The teachers at my school seem to think they are the only ones that have to spend their own money. Most of them have been at this one school a long time and in the past the school provided EVERYTHING for them. Those days have passed. We are in budget crisis and they are complaining about having to spend their own money for things. I've taught at various schools throughout my career and I told them that I don't know of teachers that don't spend some of their own money for supplies each year.
     
  12. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I have access to tape, staples, paper clips, dry erase markers, and felt-tip pens. The stapler provided was a cheap thing that I've put away; there are two in the classroom that I provided. If there's something in particular I need, I can ask for it, as long as it's relatively cheap, like a whiteboard eraser.
     
  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We get unlimited copy paper (though we have to pay for copies if we go over a certain amount of copies,) and we get office supplies for us, but not supplies for the kids. We need to buy bulletin board paper, borders, etc.
     
  14. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jul 12, 2011

    When I first started at my school we had a close to unlimited supply of supplies. I of course had to buy the initial decorations for my classroom (posters I wanted and other things that fit my grade level). I have not spent money on decorations since. I have bought a few supply type items over the years because I wanted something better than what the school provided. In recent years paper has become an issue. We are provided some, but I have spent some money on that so I would not be limited on the number of copies I could make. We also try and get as much as possible from parents. Everything from kleenex to copy paper we ask parents for.
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    In our district we are not allowed to ask parents for copy paper on a supply list. We can put it on a wish list, but that's it,
     
  16. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 12, 2011

    My school provides butcher paper, copy paper, printer ink, lamination. Teachers are responsible for the rest, either through budget money, or personal money. I'm sure that in a pinch the office could supply basic teacher supplies (staples, paper clips, etc) but it's expected that you order those each year on the supply order.

    When I started here 9 years ago, I had $650 to spend (which was fabulous!!). Last year, I had $100. All teachers get the same amount to spend regardless of teaching assignment.

    My first year of teaching was split between 2 schools, so I purchased everything in a double set, so now I have tons of paper clips, thumb tacks, etc. Now I only buy things if they are really cute, nice, or I just want it ;) I'm addicted to office supplies, so I rarely order them from my budget, and save that money for curriculum related purchases.
     
  17. Mrs. Q

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    Jul 12, 2011

    The office gave me 1 pack of dry erase markers, a few rolls of tape, a box of staples, a couple of school pens and a case of copy paper (I'm in a computer lab).

    The leaving teacher left me several more boxes of staples and paper clips, pens, etc.

    The "room" comes with 1 stapler, 1 tape dispenser, 1 manual (and partitally broken) pencil sharpener and a paper cutter.

    I bought several more staplers, pencils, pen, glue, paper, hole punches, and everything I wanted for my own personal use.
     
  18. MATgrad

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    When I first started I was a new unit and I pretty much had nothing not even pencils. Thank goodness I had overstocked from the penny sales! Now I've got so much from previous years that I really don't need anything which is good because my budget is $75 for the year!
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    To be fair, I do think that teachers have a right to complain about having to spend their own money to provide for their students and furnish their classrooms with essentials. In any other field, the employer provides the materials. In ours, it's understood in many places that we will provide the things that we need and the things that our students need. It's sort of ridiculous.

    Of course, I'm also a realist and understand that the money has to come from somewhere. It's easier for me to buy 75 bottles of glue for my 250 students to use over the course of the year than it is to fight to get the school to pay for it when they have to spend money on other things.
     
  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I've worked at two different schools in the same district under four different administrators.

    At both schools all the basic office supplies were available in the office. The rooms had textbooks (at least enough for a class set, but not usually enough for every student to have one), student desks, a teacher desk, a teacher chair, a bookshelf, and a file cabinet. In later years, we added a computer, but they weren't common in our building until the late 90's.

    Other items were scavenged from retiring teachers or purchased by the teacher.

    We have never had any limits on copies or supplies, and anytime I've ever had to have something special, I ask for it and get it. (I'm talking basic supplies, like special labels.) I've never been turned down for bigger things like bookshelves either, but I always go in with a good plan when I ask for it.

    Early in my career, I did spent a lot of my own money, but I don't do that much anymore. Last year I hit all of the penny sales, and I got tons of pencils and folders. Some years I buy the 5 cent spiral notebooks. Those things are cheap, so I get them. The only other things I buy now are "convenience items" for myself. Today I bought a small rug. I use it for my stool and podium. I get one every year, and then toss it at the end of the year. It was $10 at the dollar store.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have known other schools that have said the same thing. For me, I don't really see a difference between putting it on a supply list vs. wish list. Either way it is still asking parents for something. I see no reason why you can't ask parents for anything you want. It is up to them if they want to provide it.
     
  22. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    The reasoning at our school was to keep the list short and simple to increase the chances that parents would get it. Also, most of our students had their supplies provided by community organizations, and we didn't want to take advantage of those. That's why we didn't ask for many multiples of things. I was in kinder, and we asked for one box of 8 big crayons, three boxes of 8 normal crayons, and some pencils. That way they had crayons and pencils for whole year (new box after each report card.) We basically bought everything else so it would all be the same, and no one would feel left out.
     
  23. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Each year I have spent less money, this year I don't plan on spending very much at all. I will definetly stay under $100 this year again, I would like to keep it under $50.
     
  24. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Glue sticks. We seem to go through them. Buy glue sticks. I'd say stock up to 1,000. Be one of those coupon hoarders where you see that they've converted their garage to a storage room. And stock it with glue sticks.
     
  25. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    I had a ton of stuff from the teacher that left for her maternity leave (that was two years ago). She is coming back to the district this year in a different school. I wonder if she will want all of that stuff back? It's from supply orders and I organized it all (what a gigantic mess). Hopefully I get to keep some of it.


    I ordered a ton of construction paper, pens, and pencils with the supply order (a little over $100 this year - it was $400 when I first started).

    Other then that though I spend a TON of money on my classroom. I like to hit up the school supply scales once school starts. Target has great sales, I got a ton of really nice scissors last year for like 14 cents a pair.
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jul 12, 2011

    :lol::lol:

    When I did my student teaching, everything was supplied for the teachers. They had notebooks, binders, pens, highlighters, index cards, staplers, tape, the list goes on and on. They were not limited on the number of copies they made or use of the lamination machine. This was in an urban area too.

    I haven't found out what I'll be provided yet but am stocking up on some of the basics. I figure that even if the school provides them I'll still need them at home. Things like pens, paper, binders, etc...
     
  27. ms99

    ms99 Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2011

    LOL! :lol: I'm teaching preschool now while searching for a job, and this is so true. We go through a ton of glue sticks, so this is definitely something that I do stock up on. And Scotch tape. I'm always running out of tape. That's my motto: You can never have enough glue or tape.

    This thread has given me lots of ideas, thanks!
     
  28. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    buy a personal laminator - Walmart has the Scotch one for under $30 I think - then buy the laminating pouches on Amazon (way cheap). You can laminate your high-frequency word wall words, kids work, things you want to keep from year to year - heck, I'd laminate the kids if I could! lol
     
  29. MATgrad

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    Wow! It looks like I'll be heading to Walmart. It would be so nice to get all my laminating work done now instead of trying to get it done that first week.
     
  30. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2011

    I was given a stapler, tape dispenser, a few old scissors, and a few small post-it pads. The previous teacher had ordered these to leave behind as she moved to another school. She also left some paperwork.

    I was given $50 the beginning of my first year to purchase supplies, and each year after that I was given $25, then $15 at the end of the year to purchase supplies. We have had no raises in four years, and this year we received no money at all at the end of the year.

    We have unlimited copies, copy paper provided by the school includes 8x11, 14 x 11, and pastel colored paper (limited). We can have items laminated - when the laminator is working. I am purchasing my own dry erase markers, erasers, construction paper, glue sticks, etc. for use in class - usually through dollar/penny sales at Staples (God bless Staples and their sales!). There is bulletin board paper available, but the supplies are running low as new rolls have not been ordered in two years.

    Ditto what others have said - all depends on district/principal.
     
  31. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2011

    Oh, I also receive a plan book or plan/grade book combo - my choice.
     
  32. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    I got the personal laminator on Amazon for $19.99 and bought 500 pouches for less than $40 on Amazon too! It is the BEST laminator!
     
  33. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    LOL! Enjoy it - it will only laminate sheets up to legal length, but I am on my 2nd one, and love it - my blessed hubby has spent many, many Sunday nights cutting out my laminating!

    An added benefit is that the laminating pouches are thicker, and therefore your stuff is better protected than items put through the big "roller" laminators. I just use the big ones for my big posters, etc.
     
  34. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    I teach in a lower income area which means little money. I walked into my classroom and there were student desks, teacher desk, computer, and 1 wooden chair. I was so overwhelmed. I had to go buy EVERYTHING!!! Stapler, staples, tape, dispenser even a "teacher chair" for my desk.
    It is very 'hush hush" but I can get some supplies from the office like rubber bands, some colored paper, and expo board cleaner. I was there for a year and a half before I found that out.
    Items I suggest:
    lots of baskets for organizing and storing (variety of sizes, colors, and shapes)
    the tiered shelf like slots you can put on your desk
    multiple ink pen/ marker cups/holders
    sticky notes
    crayons
    hole punchers
    paper clips (the basics)

    If I think of more I will let you know ....
     
  35. outsidethelines

    outsidethelines Companion

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    Our school supplies us with the basics, like copy paper, dry erase markers, staplers/staples, paper clips, etc. However, they are not all the best quality so I supplement it by stocking up during the back to school sales. I am lucky in the sense that I get extra spending money each year for my lab since I teach science.

    Some other things I have bought with my own money: comfy desk chair, podium with storage, 40 page 3-hole punch, decor/plants, and lots of other random little things.
     
  36. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    At my last school I had to buy everything. Well, almost everything. I did get a hand-me-down desk (which I loved, dents and all) and chair. I had to buy paper for the copier and my printer but not the toner. I had to buy clocks and trashcans. I even had to buy pencils and paper for my high school students. All supplies for me and my students like glue, tape, construction paper, etc. I did not have to buy some of the chemicals for labs however I couldn't use most of the ones that were provided because of safety issues. So I bought 95% of the lab supplies myself.

    This past year I didn't have to buy much of anything. I just bought things that I wanted to have. I did have some things for the students left over from the year before and I stocked up on them last week (pencil erasers!). We don't have any budget for supplies for this upcoming year but I do have a lot left over so I should be fine. I don't think I'll spend more than $25 on supplies. I'm of the mindset that when the budget crisis causes me to have less money for my biological children I will just have to make do with my students. Frankly I'm tired of students expecting me to pay for their paper and pencils when they are driving much nicer cars than I am.
     
  37. FourSquare

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    Jul 16, 2011

    I am going into my first year in an inner-city school and this is what appears to be provided in my room thus far:

    • student desks
    • bookshelf
    • student mailboxes
    • easel
    • guided reading table
    • smaller table
    • chairs...supposedly including a rocking chair, but this has not materialized yet.
    • large carpet
    • printer (no computer...yet? I am unclear.)

    So far I have dropped almost $1,000 on this room...but being in my first year I truly have nothing. I imagine I will not spend nearly as much ever again because I really tried to stock up. Here is what I inventoried today from my ridiculous number of shopping bags:

    • #2 pencils
    • eraser tops
    • markers
    • colored pencils
    • crayons
    • lined and construction paper
    • glue bottles
    • student composition notebooks
    • paper clips/staples
    • stapler
    • adult scissor pack
    • scotch tape and shipping tape
    • various storage bins/baskets
    • book bins
    • various leveled books for library (big cost)
    • wall calendar and accompanying pieces
    • motivational poster
    • money bulletin board set
    • several borders
    • homework passes
    • birthday certificates
    • bulletin board fabric (so expensive, ugh! but nice and reusable)
    • velcro strips and 3M wall hooks
    • clothespins (behavior management chart and hanging things)
    • various cushions/pillows/cozy items
    • desk lamp
    • sticker labels and plastic label holders
    • notecards
    • lanyards (to hold sight words on key rings)
    • various expo/sharpie/chart paper markers
    • chart paper
    • magnets
    • toy trinkets/reward items
    • stickers
    • sticker charts
    • various pocket charts
    • place value display chart
    • new cartriges for my Cricut. :) (machine was a Christmas gift)
    • scrapbook paper
    • professional resource books
    • student workbooks for homework/do nows
    • sentence strips
    • flashcards
    • picture frames
    • photo paper
    • colored electrical tape for sectioning off the board
    • file folders
    • student folders
    • binders for myself
    • magazine holders for myself
    • classroom set of playdough for free time/indoor recess
    • soccer ball for outdoor recess
    • computer paper
    • hanging wall organizer for papers/files

    Today another teacher gifted me a class set of scissors. :wub: I think she was surprised at how excited I was. :lol: If it's free it's for me!
     
  38. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2011

    My school provides us with furniture, textbooks, and a case of copy paper per quarter.

    Some years, there's enough money in the department budget for everyone to order a couple hundred dollars worth of supplies. Other years, everything is out of pocket.
     
  39. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jul 17, 2011

    I've always spent a ton of money in my classroom. My first two years we were given $350 to spend in our classroom. That gradually went away, to where I didn't get anything last year.
     
  40. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Jul 17, 2011

    I was provided with a box of pens, pencils, masking tape, boxing/packing tape, desk calendar, a box of markers, paper clips, and stapler....Everything else, I purchased, art supplies, decorations, and even curriculum that I could not beg, borrow, pirate...or anything else...welcome to SPED.
     
  41. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Jul 17, 2011

    You will spend less and less as time goes on now that you have all of those things! It's the starting out that is the hardest.
     

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