What have you had to buy for your classroom?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
What have you had to buy for your classroom?
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 5:00pm

I honestly had no idea that a good amount of the items in a classroom were purchased by the teacher until my SIL started teaching last year.  Bookshelves, chairs (desk and reading), games, rugs, chalk (!!???), etc.  I wonder how many other parents didn't realize this either.

What items have you had to buy for your classroom?  Does the school actually provide anything to you?

Avatar for nmariean
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2004
Thu, 08-16-2012 - 8:03am
My school does provide some things...chart paper, markers, other consumables, tape, etc. There is also an abundance of furniture, so if you don't have something int he classroom, chances are the custodians will fetch it for you from the basement or storage.

four years ago, I got displaced and ended up in a classroom that had no books because the previous teacher had taken them all, so that year, I spent about $500 buying chapter books for my students so they could have something to read during independent reading time. Over the years I have accumulated stuff, but I always have to buy things like stickers, a new sharpener, stamps, games, my own markers (because what they give us is limited) charts, erasers, pencils, I spent about $75 this year because I vowed not to continue spending my money.
Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 1:25pm

This year we got a $200 supply budget, up from $150 in year's past.  Our PTO also reimburses $50, and last year our principal reimbursed an additional $50 (probably why our budget got upped this year) around Christmas.  That buys consumable items like colored copy paper, pencils, grading pens for me, staples, tape, construction paper, etc. and then some extras like clipboards, stickers, incentive charts, and so on that I don't necessarly need, but use for motivators for the kids.  On top of that, I usually spend a lot throughout the year.  I've never totalled it up because I'm scared to.  I have already bought crayons, markers, erasers, red pens, and glue to replenish what the parents don't throughout the year.  I have folders and spirals left over from years past, so I didn't buy those this year.  I still need to get things for the goody bags I leave on their desk the first day of school, plus a few new things just to decorate in my room.  I built two new shelves just last week because the ones we have are flimsy and too tall to fit the rooms properly (about $65).  Two years ago, my brother in law built some benches for the reading corner (about $300) that have storage inside because we don't have any permanent storage in our rooms (and thing have to be packed and moved out each spring if they can be).  Throughout the year, I'll buy rewards (erasers, special pencils, etc.), snacks, drinks for parties, binders to organize my stuff, teacher resources, music, and whatever else I need to do my job.  If you ever notice where school districts make cuts, it's always to the teachers' budgets first because they know we'll pick up the slack out of our own paycheck.  A few years ago, we had a superintendent who was having trouble passing a levy, and until he actual cut stuff that the parents noticed, they wouldn't pass it.  When he made class sizes bigger, that's when they passed it.  Otherwise, they never really knew that there was a true need.

Every guy I've ever dated has said they same thing- they never knew how much a teacher does until they dated me.  Then they realize how much more there is to the job that the general public doesn't know about. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 9:30am

The list of what I haven't bought is shorter. In general all teachers buy items like teaching materials, games, office supplies, software, magazine subscriptions,  cleaning and storage items, supplies for the students like pencils and paper, decor like bulletin board sets and rugs, student  rewards, and yes even classroom  furniture and clothes for students. They also pay for holiday parties, field trips, lunches and snacks for their students. This is another reason we bristle when we're accused of being lazy, over paid and selfish by the politicians and the surrogates they use to promote a political agenda. They have no idea what it costs to educate children effectively or to create an inviting educational environment..

In the interest of all honesty there is a tax deduction for out of pocket expenses and we sometimes get a small budget from the school. PTA will also provide some support. Still, the out-of-pocket expenses are costly if you want to provide a nice environment and have the tools you need when they are needed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 8:16am

I'm not in a classroom now, but I just had to renew my 'puter warranty to get a software problem for my private teaching job fixed- $270 that I didn't really have to spend.  When I had my fulltime job in AZ, I bought my own chalk, dry erase markers, reeds (I taught band), kleenex, band aids, paper (loose leaf and staff), some sheet music, colored pencils and markers for making posters and score marking, poster board, and even lip balm for chapped embouchures.  I think I got off easy compared to some.

When I was student teaching, I was almost assigned to a band that didn't have an adequate supply of method books- I was prepared to buy a class set of those, too!

For those of you who think that teachers don't do their jobs, let me tell you: if our pocketbooks alone are any indication, society is dead wrong!!!!!!


Beth "Petrouchka"