First of I want to prefaced this with a clarification. Both my wife I and teach, and we have been doing so for awhile now. We both have masters degrees and are fairly high on the district pay scale. Our children are all grown, married, out of school and reasonably established. Both of our cars are not great gas savers, but they are fully paid for, and in reasonably good shape, so they don’t cost a lot to operate. All of that to say this, sometimes if something will make our jobs easier, we buy it ourselves rather than fight the school for the money. That sort of worked against the school when we both transferred last year and took all our goodies with us when we left, but it worked FOR us, because we had it all at our new schools.
It’s been a bit of an adjustment at my new school, the copy machines are always broken, the printers are old, and technology is kind of scarce. Painfully so, when the math program expects us to access stuff on the Internet at their site, and we have no way to easily show it to the kids—-daily.
So this is what I have, I have my own laptop, my own projector unit, a high capacity laser printer, and a scanner. And this is what I do. For the math, I have the laptop and projector set up so that I can show the animated math stuff on the white board, there isn’t a good screen.
For workbook pages, I have scanned most of the teacher black line masters into my computer, and I print everything out usually using the laser printer, if I can use the school one, I will, but mine is there if I need it. That way I don’t have to walk around the school looking for a copy machine that is working. The first week of school, I was so frustrated when I couldn’t copy anything that it was making me sick. Most of the equipment I have purchased over the last couple of years. The only thing that I had to buy new was the laser printer and I got a really good deal on it at Office Max. It was on special at half price, costing with tax, a little over $400, but it’s normally over $800 so it should hold up pretty good. I just had to rearrange how I was using some of the stuff to get it set up for the classroom. I avoid the copy machines and dependence on them, I do almost all of my copies on the laser printer.
On one level it bugs me that I have to spend so much for school, but on the other hand, they are decisions that I am making in order to do things the way I want to, so it’s not really their fault. On the other hand, they could do a better job of having supplies and equipment that works there for us so that we can do our jobs. Sometimes the other kindergarten teachers are really frustrated when they can’t get stuff run off for their kids.