Who owns my classroom materials?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by aprilshowers, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    I work at an urban charter school with no protocols for anything like this and I'm leaving. I've raised over 15k for my department over the years, so I have some really nice stuff in my classroom. However, I recognize that most of it belongs to the school. I think that anything given through grant/parent donations definitely belongs to the school. I know things from donorschoose should stay, too.

    I'm wondering about adopt-a-classroom materials. These are funded by banks and local businesses and the funds were given directly to me to purchase materials for my classroom. So, I would really like to keep them for my new classroom somewhere else. Out of the 15k of crap I've amassed in the last 3 years, this stuff would be about 1k. I don't think anyone would notice if they are gone. It is stuff like a nice pencil sharpener, printer, individual white boards, magnets, etc.

    Also, I am wondering about PTA funds. Every year, our PTA donates a gift card for officemax to each teacher to help cover the cost of classroom supplies. We do not receive any other supplies from the school (no dry erase markers, pencils, hand sanitizer, nothing). So, who owns things like my dry erase markers now? The gift card does not begin to cover it and I would have no idea how to sort the items bought with gift card vs. purchased with my own funds.
     
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  3. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    You know you are leaving today? Start taking YOUR stuff home tomorrow.

    If you purchased an item by either walking into the store or ordering it online with money given to you directly (even if it was from the PTA) - anything the school did not purchase for you - I would take it if I wanted it. Honestly, outside of the big ticket items you obviously cannot take; I would take everything I wanted since you are not coming back to this school and could probably use it next year.

    Mind you, my school only formally collects textbooks and technology items that I have signed out (desktop, LCD projector); anything else I have in my room, I could make off with if I really wanted to and no one would be none the wiser. But, since I have no extras in my room (not even a classroom library), I have nothing to take.
     
  4. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I disagree with the previous poster. Companies and the PTA were funding items for that school's students - not you individually. I think those things should stay.

    Things you bought with your own money can go. I am on the fence about items personally donated to me. Some days I think I should leave them and some days I think they are "mine."

    I am interested to hear what others think.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This.:thumb::2cents:
     
  6. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    OP said PTA gave her a gift card to buy stuff like dry erase markers. Is she supposed to leave these behind? Really? Also, how would the school know exactly what she spent her gift card on so that they can ask her for it back at the end of the year?

    Maybe because I work in a school where we never get any supplies (and there is no PTA to give us any money) and I have to buy everything all year long (copy paper, tissues, notebooks, notebook paper, pencils, hand sanitizer); I would take these classroom supply items with me at the end of the year. No hesitation.
     
  7. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    The companies didn't donate the money to the school. They selected me to receive the funds out of a pool of teachers. I had to nominated and selected based on my own merits, like education and performance. Their thinking was, "I want to help a good teacher buy supplies for their classroom," not "I want to donate money to the students of X school." Just to clarify.
     
  8. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Honestly stuff from donors choose you should probably take too. It was donated to you for your class. You personally fundraised for it.
    I think it's the same for the adopt a classroom stuff and the PTA gift card items. Why should these items that were given to you personally remain left behind?

    Think of it this way, if you leave it you have no idea if the next teacher will use it at all and that would be a waste considering these were all items you wanted for your classroom. It's not like the school said here take this and use it.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sounds like you've already decided what to take.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    DonorsChoose items are legally the schools property and you can only take them if you have the principals permission.

    I fundraised over 4000 dollars for a class set of Chromebooks, and I know there's no way in heck my P would let me take those with me if I left for whatever reason. :lol:
     
  11. bros

    bros Phenom

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    What would you even do with all those chromebooks?

    Browse the internet on a million screens?
     
  12. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    This is what I was going to say.
     
  13. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    Donors Choose should stay at the school.
    Anything donated by parents or PTA should stay, as well as anything donated directly to the school.

    The things you say were donated to YOU from companies... I would personally take those. If they gave it to ABC TEACHER to use while teaching.... ABC TEACHER should be able to use it in whatever school he /she is at.

    HOWEVER.... in regards to the PTA gift card. Lets say they gave you 100 dollars and you bought a printer, sharpener, stapler, etc (things that don't run out). But then you spent 100 or more of your own money on things like pencils, tissues, soap, etc (things that do run out).... I would probably be inclined to take whatever I wanted. Technically that PTA money is long gone.

    In an ideal world you should have spent the PTA money on child necessities that would run out, and then your own money on things that you could then decide if you wanted to keep or not. Maybe for next time :)
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Are you being facetious, bros? Many classrooms are experimenting with flipping the curriculum, some schools have gone to all online texts. Others are encouraging students to BYOT. Surely you can appreciate how the use of technology can complement instruction and aid in reaching learners of differing needs.
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I would only take the things that I bought with my own dollars. Every year I win a grant to buy books - the cheque is made out to me personally and I spend the money. In my opinion, those books belong to the school. Also my class won a draw for our book fair this year and I was able to select books - those will also stay in the classroom if I leave.
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Donors Choose says you can take it if you're going to another public school.
     
  17. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I am pretty sure he meant if the poster left. What would he do with all those if he left teaching, I think
     
  18. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    That is not true unless it is somehow project specific. I just finished a project for books and they were very clear that the items belonged to the school. That said, I don't think my school would have any issue with me asking to take them if I were to leave.

    As far as bros comment, I suspect he was questioning why one person would need 4000 worth of Chromebooks. I suspect Peregrin wouldn't be taking them for himself but for a future class to use.
     
  19. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    I've gotten grants, donations, and purchased items for my classrooms (at different schools) over the years.

    What do I take with me? - anything I bought with my paycheck money. Sometimes it's materials given to me from a retiring teacher - what they purchased with their own money. Those seem to be the items that stay with me and have the greatest benefit to my teaching.

    Donors Choose has clarified their policy on ownership of items so you might take a look at the wording.

    http://help.donorschoose.org/app/answers/detail/a_id/100

    Adopt-a-Classroom is exactly that. Funding for the classroom, not the individual teacher who may move from school to school. That's how I read it.


    Also, regarding the check made out to you. You might ask the source of that funding. Who owns the items?

    Do what you are most comfortable with (feel belongs to you) and are sure you will use in the future.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I didn't say leaving teaching. Even if I was going to another school the P would want to keep them.

    As for DonorsChoose, I guess it's the policy of your district. I know my district says that you need P permission to take anything you funded.

    Also Bros: that would be an interesting internet experience. lol!

    But no, we actually use them for a wide variety of things. Students use computer simulations of scientific phenomena, they create digital posters, do research, take tests, play vocabulary games, my Communications class blogs, codes, edits images, and creates videos, etc. I haven't gotten into the flipped classroom model yet, but that's because not all of my students have computers at home. However I do have the resources for a flipped classroom on my website so if they need reinforcing, they can watch a video of someone else explaining it again.
     
  21. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yes, I was being facetious. The image of someone using ~20 chromebooks at once was entertaining.

    I am very aware of the rollout and usefulness of tech in the classroom.
     
  22. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    I never take any money from the school so I don't have problem like this. Anything that YOU brought in and paid for with your own money is yours. I would talk with the department about the whiteboards and magnets (unless you purchased them with your own money) and see if you can keep the. Now, I don't think the PTA will sue you if you take the dry erase markers, pen, and pencils.
     
  23. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I agree that if you bought it, it's yours. Nothing the PTA purchased can be ethically taken since they bought those for the benefit of their children, not the teachers.
     
  24. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    IMHO, only the items purchased with my own money are items that I would take. When someone gives me money to spend in the classroom, I usually try & spend it on consumable materials.
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I just got novels this year and that's what I was told.
     
  26. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    I fall in the camp of if you used your money, it's yours and if the money came from any other source, it's the school's.
     
  27. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    In my opinion anything that was donated or given to you as a teacher should stay. They were given to you because they knew you were a teacher and knew that those things benefit your students.

    If I left I would take all the posters I personally made or brought with me from the previous school, or anything that I paid for and didn't get reimbursed for. For example I paid for novels, go reimbursed, they would stay. I just bought a dvd for us to watch, won't get reimbursed, because it's too late, I'd take it.
     
  28. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    For me, anything the school expects back, they inventory and I'm responsible for checking it back in at the end of the year. Anything else, I'd be free to take with me.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have 18 students in my class..I could put 20 chromebooks to good use..as could most educational professionals...not sure why that's 'entertaining'. How would you use such a gift of technology, bros?
     
  30. kab164

    kab164 Companion

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    I wouldn't take anything I didn't personally pay for
     
  31. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The entertaining part was the imagery of a single individual operating 18 computers at once.

    With regards to receiving such a gift of technology, I would probably play around with the chromebooks first - I don't have much experience with them, outside of small demonstrations of them, so I would want to learn its limits, its strengths & its weaknesses. Then I would figure out how to smoothly integrate it into the classroom - assuming the only thing provided would be the chromebooks and a place to store them to charge them, i.e. without any supplementary materials.
     
  32. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I write my name on anything I buy (not office supply type stuff, but books, technology, etc).

    I use a school stamp on things I buy with school funds.
     
  33. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    :agreed:


    Well said.
     
  34. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Chromebooks don't really take long to pick up... It took me about two minutes. They're just laptops that work with google instead of office. I love them. This is our first year with them.
     
  35. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    I take things I bought with my own money and gifts that were given to me by parents. Everything else was given to me on behalf of the school, and so it stays with the school. No donor or grant would have awarded you anything if you were part of the school--that says to me the school is the benefactor of those gifts.
     
  36. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah, that's pretty much the extent of my knowledge about a Chromebook. I'd play around with it a bit to see the speed and flexibility of it.
     
  37. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Donors Choose and PTA stuff should stay with the school.

    Honestly, out of the entire list, the PTA stuff would be the most important to stay with the school. They did the fundraising to benefit their students- not their teachers.

    Our PTO used to give us a $25 gift card and I always spent it on paper. That way it was gone and I didn't have to use my own money on it. I'd use my own personal $25 to buy books or whatever other materials I wanted to keep forever.
     
  38. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    If you raised the money for yourself as the teacher then the materials travel with you.

    If you raised the money for your school or your classroom, the materials should stay with the school.

    I've seen both scenarios.
     
  39. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I looked up DC online. If you're going to a public school, teaching 75% of the time, and the current P gives his okay, you can take it with you. I know I could take my stuff if I choose to leave. My P is great.
     
  40. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    What if you use PTA funds to purchase a piece of equipment but the technology department tells you up front that they will NOT provide any support for it at all? Everything that needs to be repaired will fall on your own shoulders and you would have to pay to have any updates installed or worn out pieces replaced?

    That's how it is in my district. Each school has its own technology person that picks and chooses who gets new equipment. Those that are left out have to get items on their own. We can apply for funds from the PTA for big ticket items and hope we're selected. If your neighbor gets a projector from the school, the school will keep it maintained, install new bulbs when yours blows and replace it in the event of theft. If you use PTA funds, you have to keep it maintained yourself, buy your own bulbs and you're SOL if it gets stolen. You are also "out of the loop" for one to be provided by the school.
     

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