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I barely keep the lights on at my house on a teacher's salary, but I can do without a new blouse or skip a haircut so that my students can get a pencil or some paper from me.
What I resent is the amount of money I spend on ink and paper I spend in order to do all the paperwork necessary as a special ed teacher. We never seem to have enough money in the budget for the things we are required to do by law.
And don't even talk about raising taxes to pay for anything! The same people who don't complain about their $1000 a month car payment or the gas for their house-sized SUV, act like you've asked for a kidney if you expect them to fork out a lousy $10 a month extra in property taxes. What is that - 2 Lattes a month?
I'll stop here before I get really angry.
As a teacher in an inner-city school, I spend hundreds of dollars a year on my students and the classroom. School has not even begun yet and I'm already totaling over $400. Once classes resume it's always more...much more to ensure we have the experience I feel my students should have. I cut corners in my own life to do so. However, it does not go without pain on my part. When I taught in a suburban area, I NEVER had to provide notebooks, pencils and folders for my classes. Part of the classroom experience is learning responsibility. What would happen if we showed up to work unprepared???
I am a single mother too, with 2 in college and no child support or alimony coming in. I look for all the sales during the summer and buy my school supplies at the lowest price I can find. By stocking up the kids have what they need and it doesn't hurt my budget. Many places will let you buy over the limit if you are a teacher and show your ID. If not I take my kids to stand in line and buy for me!
I also get donations from some of the local businesses. They send me extra paper, pens, pencils, even calendars. We send them pictures of the kids using the supplies in class. It's great PR for the companies.
It's true I would of saved thousands of $'s over the many years of buying school supplies. The Federal Credit for Educator Expenses allows up to $250. of qualified expenses as an adjustment to gross income. It's a little drop in the tax bucket, however the joy I receive is priceless.
When I want something specific for my classroom, I usually buy it. I am certainly not obligated to, but the ordering process has become so lengthy and cumbersome that it is frequently easier -- and a better use of my time -- just to go out and buy what I need than it is to check vendors, fill out paperwork, get signatures, etc.
My class is conducting a schoolwide Presidential election this November, and I would like to purchase a classroom set of paperback books to supplement our study of the process. I AM going to try to order those through the school; I'm hoping I won't feel the need to spring for that purchase!
I teach at an inner city school and most of the teachers on my campus have given up on students providing their own supplies and we provide them. I realize this is not preparing them for the "real world" where very little is given to them. Last year I required students to provide their own folder. The folder represented 2 test grades at the end of the semester. Over half of my students failed to get a folder and those students failed my class. I told them the folder could have been recycled since kindergarten. It did not have to be new. This year I am providing the folders. It is not worth the risk of having a high failure rate and possibly losing my job!!
I, too, spend way too much money on my class. Much of it is books for my own professional study or to supplement the core curriculum, but a lot of it is on "real" art supplies (so my sixth graders can make something worth keeping), paperback books that I give them, and occasional rewards for those who work with commitment and who strive for excellence. However, I don't believe it should be expected of us. My least favorite thing is buying a box of paper at $30+ when we're low at school . . .
Yes, I do buy extra school supplies, for the kids whose parents can't/won't, but it doesn't make me "mean or uncaring" if I don't. What an ignorant statement! I teach kindergarten in WV and am among the lowest paid in the US, yet I spend at leat $400 every year on supplies needed for my classroom; not just pencils and glue sticks, but construction paper, games, books, dress-up clothes, legos, etc. It's completely wrong that teachers feel required to buy what they need to teach, corporate workers would never go out and buy their own copy paper or pens out of obligation to the company!
If I didn't buy extras when I buy my own sons for my classroom, I would have many students spending lunch in detention rather then taking a break and enjoying some time with their peers. they need down time too in HS. And in an alternative HS, they can not always be expected to be prepared for class so for a token turned in I give them supplies, they get 50 per semester and I keep them so they don't lose them. Plenty to get through 90 days.
I am offended by your absolute opinion.
Did you ever consider the expense of setting up a classroom, especially for teachers just starting their careers. Although it would be fantastic for teachers to spend money out of their pocket, have you considered that some teachers are making less than 40,000 a year, while paying back student loans? Are you making an assumption that they do not have to pay rent or a home loan? Are you even awar of the initial union dues that teachers have subtracted from their check in the first few years. Your broad generalization and statement of "Uncaring teachers" is that of pure ignorance. Maybe you should save some of your opinions for the districts that do not provide these essential materials to classroom teachers. Your comment is so lacking perspective.