Spending money on my class is so much fun…..

Right, especially when it’s MY money.  Our district was giving each teacher $200.00 debit cards to spend on their classes.  That went away with the economy this past year.  I don’t know how much I’ve spent this year, I know I spent a bunch at the National kindergarten Conference.  Yesterday between my wife and I,  we spent close to $500.00 and most of that was for my class.  The thing that bothered me the most while in the Lakeshore store (I think it’s criminal to have one of those within 10 miles of your house…..) was overhearing another teacher say, “Well, at least I still have a job.” (as she’s spending her OWN money for materials to DO that job)  There’s just something wrong with that picture, and it’s not just the bad economy.   They expect us to do miracles, and put us down and demean us when the test scores aren’t the way they want them, but they won’t pay us what the job is really worth.  (our district is WAY down the list in how much is spent per teacher for salaries, and it’s not just salaries, per pupil spending isn’t the highest either, not even close) One of the kindergarten teachers at my school commented that if they thought we were being paid too much, she would be happy to just be paid for each kid what it costs per kid for daycare.  For that matter, besides the daycare, we have to actually TEACH, they could at least require the same child/adult ratios as they do in daycare, at least in kindergarten. I’m projected at over 30 kids in my all day kindergarten class this year.

I complain because it’s wrong.  But for my wife and myself, we will spend what we need to have the things that will make our jobs easier, or more satisfying.  I’m not going to spend hours upon hours (usually of my own time) making literacy centers for my class, when I  can go out and buy literacy centers. Right now, my time is worth more to me than some money.  We are in a financial position to do so though.  The brand new, single teacher, teaching next door to me, isn’t.  I almost feel bad for her.  I get all the things I want to teach my class, she has to make do with what the district will provide.  It’s adequate, but not nearly as fun.  At least not for me. 

My principal the other day wanted to know why I needed her signature on two sets of reportcards.  Her position was that I should have got her signature on the first set, then photocopied that set for the second set (one for the parents, one for the cum. folder).  I don’t know why she was complaining anyway, we use a signature stamp for her signature, and I wasn’t even asking her to do it.  I told her I didn’t do copy machines.  She looked at me like she didn’t understand how that could be.  I asked her if I could use the office copy machine to run off all my papers.  She said, “NO.”  I said, “Well, then I don’t make copies on copy machines at this school.”    We have 4 other copy machines scattered throughout the school.  But on any given day, at least three of them are broken.  Why would I want to go on that scavenger hunt every day?  If it’s not broken, then there is a line, and the copies are going to be crappy.  They are all old and worn out machines.

So, I have a scanner, I scan all the sheets I need to make copies of.  I keep the files in nice little organised folders on my laptop, (mine, not the schools) and I use the printer in my room to run off all my copies.  It’s a pretty heavy duty laser printer.  If it breaks, they will fix it.  I don’t pay for toner.  And on the off chance that that printer develops a problem, I have my own laser printer that I got on sale at Office Max for a very good deal, as a backup.  I print EVERYTHING this way.

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8 thoughts on “Spending money on my class is so much fun…..

  1. Wow! $200?! We only get $100, and that’s only been for the past few years. Is was only $50 for a long time. I spent over $200 just this summer, and another $100 since school started last week. 😦 Are we nuts, or what?

  2. Many professions require tools, uniforms, or supplies of some kind. Most of us knew when we started on this journey that we weren’t going to get rich! 🙂 We try to reach a balance by asking our parents to buy a few things, and we buy a few things, and our district buys a few things. We fill in with grants, fund raisers, and donations from generous people who care about education. I just try to do the best I can with what I can afford, and I definitely don’t buy anything from Lakeshore (high prices!) unless I can’t find it anywhere else! What concerns me most about your post is that you have 30 children. That’s not fair to the children, even with an aide. We really must change our priorities in this country.

    • Since I have it, I don’t really mind spending it. But, we do tell parents that, in general terms, they don’t need to spend money for school supplies, especially if they can’t afford it, and we try to provide supplies for those children in ways that don’t embarrass them. Tools, yes, comsummable supplies no, I don’t think we SHOULD have to pay for them. I was just at the gym working out, and on the news they were talking about school starting back up, and they mentioned a figure of $1600 per year that the average teacher spends in our district on their class and classroom. That IS unreasonable. In our district starting salary is about $35,000, that’s up from $24,000 when I started 19 years ago. $35,000 is the starting salary in my son’s field, and he has a two year degree from the local community college. You are right about the class size. We have mandated class size reduction in 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but not in kindergarten, yet the expectancies in kindergarten have become more and more like that used to be in 1st Grade. The numbers were why I got out of kindergarten 15 years ago. The only difference now from then, is that it’s only ONE class of 30 instead of 30 in the morning and another 30 in the afternoon. And I HOPE it’s only 30 kids.

  3. I’m praying for the day when someone with the power for real educational changes finally understands that kindergarten is the FOUNDATION of education!!

    • I have 6 more years in my career if the health holds. I do’t expect to still be teaching kindergarten the last few years. It’s getting hard to get up and down so much. 🙂 I have taught 1st before and here, 1st had state mandated class size reduction to no more than 16 per class. I think when the numbers get to me, I want to move up.

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