LakeTeacher posted a link with pictures of her classroom a few messages before, about libraries. Her room tour is amazing. I can not believe all the storage bins. They look so organized and pleasing to the eye.
It made me wonder about other districts, and how things are purchased for the classroom. We use to get $50 per year from PTA to purchase classroom books. Last year that even went away. There are things supplied by the school in the workroom, such as construction paper, transparencies, Expo markers, some basic office supplies, but as far as individual classrooms, there is $0 for teachers to purchase storage, manipulatives, extra supplies for kids who can't/don't bring any....
Is this typical? Do most of you get some sort of budget? There are some amazing rooms out there. Do you spend all your income back into the classroom?
We receive $150 from our district and that is to buy everything needed... as a elementary staff, we have never asked for or required supplies from students = we buy all of that. So, the $150 goes fast. We do have some money that the PTO drops into fund for each teacher. The amount varies ... sometimes $50 ...sometimes a bit more depending on how fundraiser sales went that year, etc. Definitely never enough.
We used to get 200.00 to buy things for our classroom. We had to buy our own construction paper, transparencies, markers, staples, paper clips, paper,.....everything that we needed for the year.
This year because of budget cuts, they asked us to come up with a list of things we ABSOLUTELY needed for our classroom starting with the things we can't live without going down in priority. We were told they would do their best to get us the stuff we need, but be prepared for not getting much.
We are getting some construction paper this year from PTA, so atleast we'll have some of that.
We used to get $525 a year every October from the state. Year before last it went down to $400. Then last year it down to $0. PTA gave us $50 and that was it. This year will be the same way and it will be the same until the economy gets better. We also do not have a supply closet so any and all supplies, including construction paper, copy paper, and ink for printers are all on us personally. The students do bring in supplies and I beg parents for wish list items.
I always got $500.00 a year for all supplies, furniture and materials because I had no textbooks like other classrooms did. After 20 years of teaching I dropped my supplies needs to $100.00 because I had everything I needed in the room and parents began to pick up some of the cost of supplies. When I retired the budget went to $200. until the new teacher has all her needs and then it will drop again.
We also used to get about $250 per year, but this year we get about $30 to spend on construction paper, scissors, glue and only stuff from an "approved" list from our county - so nothing except the basics. Our PTO did have a fundraiser and gave us $100 to spend, thank goodness, but of course you know that doesn't go very far. I've been teaching almost 30 years, so most of the stuff I've got I just accumulated over the years.
Second, we get $200 to spend on supplies for the classroom, but it can't be spent on consumables. I generally buy things for Daily 5 and math - leveled books, manipulatives, games, etc.
Unfortunately ALL of the storage items are bought with my personal money. We used to get around $50 from PTA too, but that didn't happen this year.
I spend a TON of money every year on my room and for my room. My school has a very high percentage of free/reduced lunch, and I decided long ago that no kiddo in my class would ever be without supplies. Wal Mart donates to the school each year, but that quickly gets used up, so I always get supplies when they're cheap in July/August.
In the past we would get about $500 to spend. We used this for office supplies, construction paper, and instructional materials. Students are expected to bring basic supplies. We have a supply list for each grade level.
Due to budget issues, this year we had to submit a list of items that we felt that we needed in order to teach our students. We were pretty much told to keep the list short.Our principal looked at the list to approve/deny the items. Our principal decided to order items and set up a supply closet for office supplies. This will be our first time doing this, so we'll see how that goes....
Luckily, I have been teaching for many years so I already have a lot of materials.
We get $500. It feels like so little to me, but I can see how in a few years it will go a lot further. I just still don't have a lot. It has gone mostly into my library. I can use this for anything basically.
I also get $30 per student that their parents pay for a supply fee instead of having a supply list. This has to be used on supplies. It can be used on classroom supplies or supplies for lessons (for example, hershey's bars for fraction activity) but it has to be something consumable or that will go home with the kids. (I couldn't buy the Hershey's Fractions book)
We are given $100.00 for the whole school year to buy whatever we need for our class and room. It barely makes a dent in the bucket. We do send out a school supply list for the parents to send with their child. We were told this year to try hard to cut it down as much as possible because so many parents are having a rough time in this economy. Heck, I'm having a rough time and so I don't need to be spending my own money on school stuff. I do it anyway because "it's for the children."
I feel a little better that I am not alone putting so much of my own money back in the classroom. However it makes me sad that the general public does not have a clue how much $$ we put back to make a difference for the kids. (not to mention the time we put in)
My daughter, when entering 4th grade I think, learned about taxes and what they pay for. She promptly came home and informed me that I pay myself through taxes and then spend even that money on my classroom. It was a cute and sad connection she had made.
HOWEVER, I love my challenging and rewarding job and can't imagine doing any other.
We are rationed a small box of very basic supplies at the start of the year. The rest of the time we are all on our own. Reams of paper and Expo markers seem to be an ongoing expense. To cut back myself on out of pocket expenses I plan to eliminate incentive charts with stickers. My data wall will just have to receive an extreme makeover!
I'm in the same boat as you. We received money at one point, but it was taken away last year.
I spend anywhere from $500 - $700 a year on supplies. This includes teaching supplies as well. I try to be frugal about what I purchase to decorate the classroom, but I still wind up spending that amount.
We used to get $200 - this year nothing. We also used to be able to by books with textbook money, but lately that money has been commandeered to buy books for other programs. We still get some money from PTA and I really appreciate it!
You are right about people not understanding how much time/money/effort we put into our jobs! Last year, I spent over $2000 JUST getting the room set up (I had a savings account just for it!). I find the most expensive things are the basic organizational tools, such as bookshelves, binders, dividers, etc. I will likely spend the same amount or MORE this summer in preparation for next year.
The classroom environment is a direct reflection of that teacher's teaching philosophy and beliefs and I am constantly torn between what I believe and what I can afford!
I guess I should consider myself lucky that we have most office supplies available & kids bring supplies (most of them). I didn't realize so many people bought their own paper etc.
We are usually given anywhere from $100-$250 for other teacher needs. It seems to be given at different times in the year so we're never quite sure what we will get if anything at all. This year I bought a scanner & wireless keyboard & mouse set. Other years I have bought teacher resource books & math manipulatives.
When I first started (13 years ago) we had a budget of $1,500 ~ that was for copies, conferences & supplies needed. Our school quit charging us for copies and dropped our budgets to $1,000 for all class supplies and any conferences. It was also great because unused monies rolled over to the next year so you could save up for big items.
With all budget cuts and the years of crunches, we are down to $600 a year for all supplies and the money no longer rolls over to the next year.
On top of the $600 our district allots us, we have a yearly fundraiser our parent club puts on where we auction off class baskets ~ the parent club gives us that money back to our class to use as needed. Depending on the year, we can earn anywhere from and extra $50 to an extra $500!
Our students bring all of their regular supplies (pencils, gluesticks, duotangs, etc.). We give them a shopping list. Or, at some schools, we just charge them 20-30 dollars and buy it all for them. As for the rest, the school supplies things like whiteboard markers for teacher use, staples, construction paper, etc. We have a budget of $100 to last the rest of the year to buy whatever else we want (it can be for cooking, or special craft things, books, whatever). One hundred dollars doesn't go far though. It's only $10 a month, really, so it's just a drop in the bucket compared to what I actually spend. Sometimes the PAC/PTA will give each classroom some money to put toward field trips so that we can charge the parents less on a field trip.
Our students bring their own supplies. Office supplies like paper, transparencies, tape, post its, staplers, vis a vis markers, dry erase markers, etc... are in the office and we can take those things as we need them.
We get $70 to spend on our classrooms. I usually use that to buy consumable things like desk tags and name tags, as well as binders and STAR binder materials that will only be good for 1 year. I figure if I leave and the school paid for it I'd have to leave it behind.
Our PTO does give us about $30 worth of free books from the 1st book fair in Sept. Our PTO also gives each grade level $800 to spend. Most of us use that toward a field trip.
My 1100 books and games are paid with by my own money. And I guess that's ok. I feel good about my book collection and don't ever want to gove any of it up! Having a good and expanding library is great for the kids and helps me too!
I agree that some of what we spend is by choice because we want our room to represent us well, and serve the students well. My family would certainly like me to care a bit less and spend a bit less. :-) I keep thinking I will, but I just can't do it.
I know I have tried very hard to be frugal with what I get for the classroom. I will be starting my 3rd year and I remember the day I walked into my first classroom. It was empty except for 2 little bookcases that were in such bad shape the teacher had left them behind. I scrounged around for the past 2 years, brought things from home, and begged my husband to help me save money by building me a couple simple particle board bookcases. It was an ordeal but I got 2 matching bookcases out of it. I wish I had carpentry skills to make exactly what I want.
Fortunately I have been able to get tons of books over the past 4 years at the local thrift store, and my child's books that she no longer reads. The books are $69/ea with every 5th book free at our thrift store. I never leave without at least spending $10. I am soooo grateful for that. I love books and like to have lots of them in my room.
Now I am working on more organizational type expenses. However there is not a ton of option in Alaska and shipping cost are ridiculous. It is hard because what if they don't work as well as I think they will!! Then I wasted the money and have more stuff to find a place for! :-) Who else feels like that?
The only money teachers receive at our school is from the PTA. It was $200 and if you joined the PTA $250. At the end of the year, the PTA president (one of our second grade teachers) petitioned and pleaded with the PTA to up the amount to $300. The president sent out a survey among our teachers asking us what we spent our money on. Boy, did I have fun filling out that survey!
But I still find myself using my own money for certain items. Since I teach in a high middle income area most parents are very generous with donations to their child's classroom.
I am feel so grateful for what my district has given us. I am truly blessed.
A couple years ago we started a prek program and I was chosen as the teacher. I ad just finished my first year of teaching so I didn't have hardly anything. I kept asking about a budget and they just told me "We'll get you what you need. Just don't go overboard." It upset me because I wanted to know the amount.If they only wanted me to spend $300 then I would, however if I could spend $1000, then I would use every penny.
I'm in a small Title 1 rural district, elementary, middle and high school are all on the same campus. We do not have a set budget per teacher. Usually whatever we want they'll get for us, within reason. Some teachers never order anything but other take advantage of the opportunity. I can't figure out what their rationale is.
We get $500 most years, but it has to be spent in the School Specialty catalog. The money sounds like a lot, but it doesn't go far because we have to use the catalog prices, and even a class seof markers can cost close to $100. I'm lucky that at this point in my career, I have stocked up on sales, and in recent years, we have been able to give the students a supply list, something that wasn't permitted when I first started here. Nothing extra is supplied by my school except for computer cartridges and copy/printer paper. I usually spend money out-of-pocket at Lakeshore and another local teacher store in August and I order one order from Oriental Trading and Really Good Stuff. Costco also has some great construction paper and other deals on office supplies, and I shop the penny sales and watch Target and Walmart in the summer. Once school starts, I try to stay out of such places and just use what I have. Most of my classroom library books also belong to me. The school doesn't give us budget money to fund those. I also have a small room with limited storage, so I can't accumulate too much.
It would be nice to get $500 dollars. But of course I cannot complain at least we are getting $150 this year. I was expecting nothing and that might come next year. But I have to say most of what I buy comes from my own pocket. Our budget is only to be used on nonconsumable items.
A BIG YAHOO! for those PTAs that give you money. Ours does not do that. Occasionally we get a board game or a lunch but that is about it.
We get $430 per year for essentials, and I know we are very lucky to get that amount. The district where I teach is small, with a high free/reduced lunch population, but the "money people" work hard to ensure we get what we need for our kids. Students are asked to bring their own personal supplies (but our Family Resource Center will provide supplies for those without). With the classroom money we receive, we are free to purchase whatever we see as needs for our classroom. This includes (but is not limited to) trade books, markers and/or dry-erase markers, art supplies (no art teacher at our school, so we plan the lessons and provide the material), organizational supplies, bulletin board stuff, pencil sharpeners, staples, etc. Also, we are lucky because we are able to spend this money at any place that will accept a purchase order. Teacher supply stores are generally very expensive, and I feel guilty spending so much of the school's money when it's not always worth the price. Sooo.... I hit up yard sales and craigslist and usually get some great deals there. (Yes, that means I spend my own money at places like that but the discount is worth it). Our PTA doesn't give out set amounts of money, but will generally provide whatever we need if we ask. With all that being said, I don't use my classroom money to buy gifts for the students, provide holiday decor/ treats, or for the treasure box- I use my own money for those things since I feel that it's more personal.
Again, I know that I am lucky to have so much support for my classroom- it makes it a lot easier to prepare my room in a way that benefits the students.