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Winn-Dixie Winn-Dixie is online now
 
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Lots of disappointed teachers this year...
Old 08-22-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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I've watched a lot of posts this summer about teachers being disappointed in various stores like Staples, Office Depot/Max, etc. It's made me wonder if that is leading you to buying less stuff for the year?

I'm on strike this year - not due to the sales, rules/restrictions, etc. But because I'm tired of spending my own money. My max is $25 for supplies, and that's it. I've spent about $10 so far. I'm just done buying things for my classroom. If the kids want it, they can beg their parents for it. I do teach in an area where it's very low income, but I'm taking advantage of Donor's Choose as much as possible. So, this year I'm done. I'll have to get creative or do without. It could lead to a very interesting year

I may buy a few more things in the Spring, but not supplies. I'll buy a butterfly kit and I also buy a some food for various projects. I'm going to see how I do with not spending money. I will buy teacher resource books, if I need them, but I pretty much have all I need. Plus, I can always share/borrow books from teachers on my team. We all seem to have different books. In the past I've spent about $200-300 for the year. This year, I want my money for me (shocking idea!).

Anyone else doing this?


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school spending
Old 08-22-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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I'm definitely spending less this summer (or maybe I should say buying less) partly because of my financial situation (going on 20 months paying for 2 mortagages by myself) and partly because the deals aren't as good. I can do what I can do and that is all.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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I spend way less than I used to spend. I really have not bought much more than the really cheap items for school. When Staples has something that has a $5 purchase requirement I get something I really need for school or I get something for home that I need/want.

I used to spend at least $1000 a year and now if I spend $150 that's a lot.
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Oh gosh!
Old 08-22-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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I wish I had read this post in June! I have spent about $200 dollars this summer on things I want for my room AND I'm taking a 10% PAY CUT with my class size increasing to 30!!! I feel so STUPID!
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Some years
Old 08-22-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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I have had no choice but to cap spending for my classroom. When DH has been unemployed or "underemployed" working for himself or part-time. With 2 of my own that I needed supplies for, I couldn't justify not getting some of their items and then spend it on my classroom.

What shocks me is some peoples posts about districts that won't allow supply lists to go home to the parents. I'd love to know if those districts order supplies and is it enough. Do they give teachers an extra allotment for the student supplies and a separate amount for classroom needs?


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Old 08-22-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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I'm spending less this year for the kids, but I did buy new bulletin board border and fabric. I've got a lot of mismatched decor, and every year I complain about how chaotic my room looks, even when it's picked up and neat. So I'm hoping that looking pulled together helps.

I do prefer to buy supplies that will last "forever" with my own money so that I can take them with me, but I always order consumables through the school.

It's the things that are not strictly necessary and might last a little while (paint brushes, clay, science experiment ingredients, etc.) that's a gray area for me. Every year our admin says, "Don't order supplies unless you have to. We don't have any money. We lost kids, so we have less money. Don't spend on supplies!" and so on. So every year I spent a lot of my money on supplies because they're for things I don't feel are strictly necessary but they make life easier or more fun or would enrich various subjects.

This year I just added them to the bottom of my order form and even labeled them "would be nice but not necessary." I'll let admin decide what I can have and what I can't. I know that some of my things were approved (paint brushes and name plates for the desks) but I don't know what else.

ETA: Now that I think about it, I think I'm also spending less because I've been in the same grade for more than one year. This will be my third year. Except for last year, every other year was a brand new grade. That translates to new resources and library books required.
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Spending.....
Old 08-22-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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I am definitely spending less this year. I have always spent so much of my own money, and I just can't right now. So, if I can't make something, I'm doing without too.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I buy stuff I 'need' and find other ways to work things i think i need, but really don't need. for example, I wanted to do writing portfolios for my kids, and only have about 15 binders stored away in my room from past years. Instead of doing binders, I was able to find five cent pronged folders and spent less than $5.00.

I would rather have more books in my classroom library than a pencil case for each student, so I did spend about $100 on some books purchased at yard sales and goodwill stores. In years past, I believed I needed a ton of art supplies, so I just have to repeat to myself "this IS a good deal, but I already have enough markers at school to get me through another year."

I did do two vista print orders this summer. One cost $7.00 and the other cost $30 but the second one was actually an order for my brother-in-law's business, and just added some freebies for school. The stuff that cost money were the items for his business.

I think the fact that DH and I bought our first house this summer has really put things into perspective. Would I like curtains in my room because I have no shades? Of course, but that will have to wait.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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Like many other posters said, I too am trying to buy less and less this summer. My school is pretty good with giving us supplies and the kids usually bring in all the items that were on their lists. The items I usually buy are organizational and decorative for the classroom. The room I teach in was pretty much gutted bare when I begun and being a newer teacher I still have a lot to buy to get my own collection of things up and running.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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I think I spent about the same as I did last year. I did not buy as many books/cutesy pie stuff this year...in fact, NO cutesy pie stuff now that I think about it other than some new letters for my word wall...but that was mostly because I didn't need much. I did one VistaPrint order ($9) and ordered a stack of Ranger Rick magazines off of eBay ($12).

I still spent about $100 on school supplies. I know I shouldn't have to provide them. Yes, I sent home a supply letter, but only 9 brought in their supplies this year. I can get SOME supplies from the school warehouse, but last year we had a serious problem getting pencils. I can live with not having crayons, construction paper, scissors, and pencil boxes but I have not yet figured out how to teach without pencils!

I also went ahead and got my subscription to abcteach. I do one subscription website a year and this year that was my pick.


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Old 08-22-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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I used to stock desks with basic supplies.
Not this year.

I have spent a some this year but not a huge amount. Most of it was items that make my life easier (sorter of CL, white-out tape, file folders etc)
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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I have no problem buying things for myself - like folders to organize things, fun pens for myself, etc. My problem is spending money on them
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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Guess what? I too have spent next to nothing on my class this year. My DH has been out of work for over a year (just got a job last week...Yeah!!). I'm taking a pay cut, larger class size, and close to broke. Started to buy the spiral notebooks for my kids and decided that parents could buy them. I teach in a nice area.

In the past I've spent up to $1000.00 a year on my class. That hasn't happened in a few years. I'm learning.
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I hear you
Old 08-22-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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However, I feel lucky. My sisters (not teachers) buy basic school supplies and donate to my classroom. One year "little sis" bought a class set of the 10 cent notebooks as well as some glue, scissors etc. Older sis bought big pack of pencils and some notebook paper. My dad has also helped provided for the darling I'm always talking about. Don't get me wrong I still spend more than I should of my own money. Seems I don't need too much going into 17th year. Hope everyone has a GREAT start.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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Definitely spending less. Sales aren't that great this year for supplies and I'm making $100 less per pay check, insurance went up.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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I spent much less this year. I was practically protesting against buying the school supplies for the kids like I usually do. I sent home a supply list at the end of last year and was planning on sticking to it, but then my principal told us that unemployment is up to 21% in our community and I felt really bad. I went to Wal-Mart, spent about $45 on the required stuff, and I'll make due without the rest.
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Spent
Old 08-22-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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I have spent way less, but still too much. I decided to do a "Hollywood" theme so I bought some new decorations. I want my students to have the good composition books for a writing journal so I bought those (spent 25 cents). I also bought what I hope are better quality white boards for the students ($33). I have a lot of supplies left from previous years and usually I send home a supply list and get most of it. I can use more glue, but I don't think I need anything else.

I am at burnout after being switched to 1st/2nd last year from 3rd and putting 250% into it-financially and mentally. Now this year Principal stuck me in 4th grade.
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Spending less
Old 08-23-2010, 04:10 AM
 
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because I bought so much last year. We are not allowed to send home a supply list at all. In fact we are not allowed to ask for any types of supplies from parents. Yet, the school supply budget has been cut. Oh well, it will be fine. I really wanted the binders for writing notebooks but we will figure out something else. My family is struggling financially too. I have to buy supplies for five kids in my own house plus help with books for two in college, and my bonus son.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:18 AM
 
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I spend less money every year, but not for any frugal impulse on my part. I just simply don't need shelving and rugs and some of the other things that I have bought in previous years.

I am one of the few lucky ones who gets a little supply budget from the school. So my kids do have boxes of new pencils, markers, and glue sticks from Walmart thanks to the reimbursement policy.
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Spending
Old 08-23-2010, 07:24 AM
 
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I spent money on books for my classroom library. Other than that, I'm staying away from all tempting stores, plus the Staples in our area set a teacher limit of 7 on items I might want to purchase.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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I'm spending less lately too. Fun stuff for learning/projects I am getting from DonorsChoose or not at all. I spent some on school supplies at Staples but not nearly as much as I used to. And I set up Amazon Associates links on my website which pays me in Amazon gift certificates - I limit my book buying to whatever that amount is each month now.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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Getting married and having my son put a lot of things into perspective for me. I was spending way too much money on things in my classroom that I could have easily made myself. This year I have only bought things that I believe to be a good deal (dollar pocket charts, 25 cent notebooks). I was looking forward to changing the theme of my classroom but have opted to just change my borders and keep everything simple. I think that the more years you teach the more tired you get of spending your own money. I had parents last year who would not buy replacement notebooks for their kids. I made the mistake of giving one kid a notebook and after that they all thought they were entitled. This year I refuse to buy school supplies for a child. Especially one with sneakers more expensive than mine!
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I am!!
Old 08-23-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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The last few years I have spent probably $600-$700 a year on stuff. This year so far I have only spent about $30. I am defintely cutting back. My family deserves that money.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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I think I am in the minority and have spent more. I spent 2 years out of the classroom and got rid of a lot of things, moved to a new room this year and needed a lot of organizational types of things. Plus I did more decorating than I usually do. Mostly it was for my benefit because I find that if my room is decorated and cozy then I feel more relaxed at school and my stress level stays down, which lately is a priceless thing! Still though, I haven't spent more than $200 of my own money (last year I bet I only did $50).
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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I've spent WAY less than I normally do. I've only spent about $40 so far. Unfortunately, we have to buy our own copies and copy paper this year so I sought out alternatives. I went to McDonald's in our area and explained the situation and they wrote me a check for $500. I also posted on my facebook page that I was looking for corporate sponsors and I have 2 people making donations to my paypal account once a month.
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