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livelong livelong is offline
 
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Who Pays?
Old 06-30-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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I recently graduated and several out of my group have already found employment. We were all wondering though, who pays for the room decorations?

The classrooms are always all decorated but I've never thought about who pays for all that. Does the school give the teacher "X" amount of money to work with or is it all on the teacher?

One of my friends got hired on to teacher 1st grade at a new elementary school and she's already purchased over $800 worth of stuff.

Just curious. TIA!


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Old 06-30-2011, 11:17 AM
 
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Most schools give teachers a stipend. It's small in comparison to what it costs to set-up a room. The money usually is spent on school supplies. Classroom decor often comes out of pocket. For new teachers, I reccomend seeking out current or retired teachers. They often have lots of goodies to share. My first classroom was a mix of lots of donated things. Don't go overboard with spending your first year. You may not end up teaching the same grade level the following year. Teachers are excellent gathers and hoarders. You never know what you will need or be able to use. Don't pass up donations.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:56 AM
 
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At both of the districts I have been in each teacher was given $500.00 to spend on classroom supplies. It could not be spent on furniture like bookshelves or tables. Until this year I used the money for math manipulatives, classroom library books, and things that would not be consumed. This past year I waited until the end of the year to spend it and bought chart paper, dry-erase markers, markers for chart paper, paper clips, scotch and masking tape. I am tired of spending my own money for office supplies.

You can find lots of things at Goodwill, Dollar Tree, and yard sales.
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Decorations
Old 06-30-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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I've never been given any money for anything in my classroom. We are given furniture in our rooms and copy paper. That's it. All decorations we buy comes out of our own pockets.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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When I started I was given a job that came with a paycheck and an empty classroom with desks and chairs, a blackboard on one wall, and the rest of the room covered in blank cork boards. No pencil sharpener, no chalk, no stapler or tape dispenser. I even had to search and beg for a teacher desk (but no teacher chair). Every item that I used I had to buy. It was very frustrating. Now, new teachers are provided with $100 to help offset the cost of start up and returning teachers are provided with $50 each year for any individual costs to running the classroom. It is in no way even close to what is needed even after over 20 years in the classroom. Those first years I regularly spent hundreds of dollars each month for books, supplies, materials, and furniture. This has slowed down but I still write off between 300- 500 each year on my taxes for classroom materials that I have a receipt for. It is very sad in some ways that this is the norm.

This is a public school in PA.


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Wow...
Old 06-30-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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Thanks everyone! I am quite surprised that the schools do so little and then we as teachers aren't really making much $$ to boot.

I was extremely lucky in that my mentor teacher gave me a lot of things this past semester that I can use in a classroom...if I ever get one.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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I've never been given any money for anything in my classroom. We are given furniture in our rooms and copy paper. That's it. All decorations we buy comes out of our own pockets.


Yep, that's how it goes...20 years later and I'm still buying stuff for my classroom each year!
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Well...if your aka is quoting Spock from
Old 07-01-2011, 03:54 AM
 
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Star Trek : livelong and PROSPER! we know where all the money goes if we do prosper. I agree with thrift store, dollar tree, TARGET is awesome $1 bins, and yard sales. There's a guy down the street that has stuff in their yard every weekend and I am drooling over the wood manipulatives tub holder that is probably only $10 (I searched high and low for one 4 yrs ago from Toys r us and after 3 stores had to pay $100) Scholastic is great get your kids on that right away (especially the first order) you will start building points and get free books. We ARE great 'recyclers' and 'reusers'
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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Look on the Carson Dellosa website.. they have a "sale" area where you can get some discounts.

They also have a warehouse sale in Greensboro, NC twice a year where you can get GREAT deals... a BB set for $1!

I would think you have to purchase your own classroom decoratives in almost everywhere you may get a job.
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Teachers pay
Old 07-03-2011, 02:17 PM
 
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In every district I've ever taught in, teachers pay for almost everything in the classroom that isn't curriculum. My last year I got $50. I've learned to spend the school's money on consumables and my money on things I can take with me. That's why our new teachers find almost bare rooms when during their visits the rooms were bright and full of things. We're all great at shopping sales, garage sales, recycling bins, even begging for what we need. Keep checking PT and you'll see teachers sharing stores where they've found great bargains as well as what they plan to do with them. I generally spent $600 - $800 per year and, sadly, it's not deductible. Since we are all going to pay more for insurance while getting our wages cut or frozen, many won't be able to afford to provide the extras for their classrooms. If my P came in and saw the barebones room with only textbooks provided by the district, I'd get written up - is that fair?


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All on you...
Old 07-03-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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This was my first year teaching and any decorations that were put up, I paid for out of my own pocket. I was lucky enough to land a job in a school that was Reading First so there were plenty of academic posters and things that I could use in addition to what I purchased. We were given money later in the year to order classroom manipulatives but thats it. Dollar Tree is my best friend!!
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End of year sales.
Old 07-05-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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Mailbox sometimes has great sales at the end of the school year. Also at our schools teachers clear out their things so it is free for others to grab. I love Dollar Tree though.
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*sigh*
Old 07-05-2011, 11:29 PM
 
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I spent close to 3k on school supplies and essentials through out my first year, last year lol.

I needed a library, decorations, and other little things that I needed through out the year.

It is very expensive, but I am hoping to cut my spending in half this up coming year.

Also, if you did not know, when you get a teaching job the room does not come set up Usually all furniture is shoved to the middle of the room. Ahh good times....
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Depends....
Old 07-08-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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on the school. A friend of mine got 900 dollars per year to use for classrooms decorations, resources, etc. At the first school I taught at, I got 250 dollars. At the district I'm at now, we only get 100 dollars per year even though it's a much nicer district than the last one I was at.
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My district
Old 07-10-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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In my district you get so much per kid but that doesn't come for like a month after school starts. Those opening a new section of a grade level get 500 ( I think).

Check the teachers workroom at your school...lots of stuff teachers get rid of, use supplies the school already has ( like die cuts), dollar tree has some classroom decor.
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New teacher as well
Old 07-10-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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I'm starting my first year as a 5th grade teacher at a charter school, and teachers there usually get around $100 at the beginning of the year but the rumor is we may not even be getting that this year. I've been going to garage sales, my library's "friends" store (all paperbacks are 50 cents), and I just today found a retired teacher on Craigslist who has a TON of books she will sell to me cheaply. Other teachers in the school also told me that they would lend me some of their books as their libraries are overflowing. I'm planning to purchase other items (such as a good pencil sharpener, laminator, etc.) and overall I think I will spend about $500 on everything (including decorations - but I have a Cricut and am making a lot of things myself - a rug for the reading area, books, treasure box goodies, etc.

My school (just like our district) gives every student a supply list as well... and it has probably close to $50 worth of items (tissues, copy paper, notebook paper, dry erase markers, baby wipes).

As far as getting a job, I spent all last year subbing, which is how I got to know the teachers and admin and really prove myself. I suggest doing that and also looking into charter or private schools as they often have greater flexibility with hiring. Good luck!!
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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I can't say for sure what is typical, but in my district teachers are compensated for $100 worth of purchases that they have receipts for. Anything else a teacher spends is out of their own pocket. That said, my school does have a decent amount of supplies they purchase, so I really don't need to spend money on construction paper, glue, staples, etc. We also have a letter cutter, so I could design my own bulletin boards for little cost. The commercial-made posters, manipulatives, border, stamps, stickers, coloring supplies, classroom library, etc. all comes out of my pocket.

Watch for back-to-school sales and teacher yard sales. Those are good places to get stuff at a reduced price. Also, save your receipts. If you itemize your taxes you can get some of it back as a refund check come tax time.
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I do
Old 07-22-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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I have been teaching for nine years and I think I could have bought a mansion and my dog could have a diamond collar with all I have put into my classroom. I am looking right now at the pile of stuff I have been buying for my classroom beginning in June, because I am single and I have to spread it out and it still is a pinch.I wish my district gave us $5.00 let alone $500 and this year our budget was demolished.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I paid for everything - even bought my bookcases!
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me too!!!
Old 07-22-2011, 05:24 PM
 
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Dutchgirl I did too!!! Last year I bought better looking furniture for my room than my house
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sad but true!
Old 07-29-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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My first year I walked into my new classroom containing 24 little wooden desks, a teacher's desk, and student textbooks. Nothing else. I put 700.00 on my credit card and paid it off with my first few paychecks. I also own most of the furniture in my classroom now bought at yard sales etc. I've been teaching 11 years, and probably spent 200.00 this summer! It never ends! With teaching, you have to weigh the good with the bad!
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Who pays
Old 07-29-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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It depends on your district and how soon they process purchase orders, etc. MOST teachers that I know of use their own money to decorate their rooms. I have used my own money to decorate my room for 15 years now. Because I've been teaching for 15 years I have accumulated a lot but never seem to repeat my beginning of year theme.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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I haven't received any money for supplies or decorations for over 5 years. The students have a list of supplies they are supposed to bring, and most do, but many do not resupply once they run out. This year I will be reimbursed $50.
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going for broke
Old 07-29-2011, 06:10 PM
 
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Our district provides nothing. Some PTO/PTA groups provide stipends but that has seemed to have dried up recently too! Just keep giving. Consider it your contribution to the needy. I do not donate to other charities as my classroom is my charity.
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Even after 24 years...
Old 07-29-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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I am beginning my 25th year and I've spent over $900 this summer. I can't really believe it because I haven't spent more than $50-60 at one store. It sure adds up. I had previously invested in my own bookshelves, rugs, organizational tubs, and books so my new purchases are for the switch to Daily 5 and a new science program. The district gave me $183 for basics and I thought I wouldn't spend more than another $250 but unfortunately I'm way over and not quite done yet...
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This is my first year back in the classroom
Old 07-29-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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I have been home with my kids for 7 years and I am going back to teaching full time-4th grade this year. I used to teach middle school. What a big difference in what you need from middle school to self contained elementary! I have been going to every thrift store, used book store, library sales, and garage sales to obtain books for my classroom library and other needed stuff for the classroom! It surely does add up quick!
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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I spend hundreds of dollars on my classroom every year. Our Home and School gives us a little bit of money, but it covers very little. I've not only bought decorations, but bookshelves, adult-sized chairs, easels, etc. I am a frequent shopper at our town's thrift shop and Good Will store. I also peruse yard sales every chance I get. Sometimes the area's IU unit will offer a "Make It, Take It" class for a nominal fee, where teachers can make decorations and games, etc. using the IU's supplies and ideas.
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Done Spending!
Old 07-30-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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This is my 10th year teaching. I used to spend around $300 every school year of my own money. I have two kids and I would much rather spend the money on them now. I haven't bought ANYTHING for my classroom this summer! I have wardrobes full of stuff that hasn't been used. The only thing I plan on spending is about $50 for my treasure box. Because I feel my sanity is worth is $50!!

BTW, my district gives nothing to us! They can barely afford pencils and paper.
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Wow!
Old 08-01-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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I am impressed with the schools that give out 500 bucks! I thought I was doing good with 125! Most places in my area it isn't that much. And I think we only get that b/c the PTA fundraises for it and puts that money off to the side for us. Nice aren't they!?
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no money here either
Old 08-02-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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I'm a first year teacher and I'm going into a classroom with pretty much no library, other than guided reading books. I've spent easily over $1000 (of my money) this summer on mostly books, bookshelves, and who knows what else. Various supplies I guess. The money goes very quickly. I've been hitting up garage sales this summer like it's my job. I've found plenty of books from retired teachers.

I have to say, they definitely didn't prepare us in college for the out of pocket costs for first year teachers. It's been eye opening. The schools are doing what they can with what little they've got, and unfortunately we have to pick up the slack. It'll be worth it for the kids in the end though.
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Cooperating Teacher
Old 08-02-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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My cooperating teacher told me she spends about 800 bucks a year. I thought she was nuts. She would always be buying them treats. I can only imagine what she spent when she was first starting up (20 year veteran so was pretty set in books etc). I agree they don't really tell you about this part of teaching. Although I have been gradually trying to gather things. but still!
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Thank you for the good laugh...
Old 08-09-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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I mean no offense to you Livelong, but I did have a good laugh over Who pays? When I've had student teachers I tell them the real side of teaching people don't tell you about, and where to get good deals. You have to become a scavenger and have no shame (where you once may have been afraid to even ask for a price, you will now be jumping in dumpsters outside of stores for cardboard!) The school I am at currently does not give any kind of monetary supplement for anything, they buy what they think you need (sometimes they may even ask for your input--imagine that!) We ask our secretary for supplies when we need them, and even then it's like pulling teeth to get the key to the supply room if she doesn't have time to get them herself (I was once asked why I needed 22 dry erase markers--hmmm 22 students=22 dry erase markers.) Find a school that is close to a Dollar Tree that way you save on gas . I have 10 lockers full of books that I've bought/scavenged myself, Scholastic book orders are your friend. When I moved from 1st grade to 3rd grade, the new 1st grade teacher was wondering where all the books went. My assistant principal came to me to inquire about this and I told him I had left them (a boxful since that is all that had come with the reading adoption, and an extra crate of really good books from the old adoption that had been slightly damaged from a flood in the classroom--they were a bit wavy, but still in pretty good condition.) I told the new teacher that all the rest of the books were my own personal books that I had bought/scavenged and when I asked her about the extra crate, she said "Oh, those books I threw out because they were damaged."
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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I had to giggle a little NancyDrew! Once while I was driving I saw on the side of the road atleast 30 milk crates. They looked like someone was throwing them out. I wish I took more than 9 now! they now hold my books for my library! I'm a first year teacher and one of the other teachers came in my room today and commented on how many books I had. I started saving them awhile ago.

And I can not believe that woman threw out books! Crazy!
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