Many people may not be aware of this, but it is a fact that most teachers spend a good deal of their own money on supplies for their students and classrooms each year. In some cases, if teachers did not do this, the students would have to do without certain items.
This is why students are given a supply list at the beginning of each school year. But often, not all students end up bringing all of the supplies on the list—this is why teachers keep extras on hand. Some students’ families may not be able to afford all of the supplies. Other families may simply forget to purchase some of the supplies. Whatever the reason, there are always some students who are missing some items.
But teachers also purchase other items besides supplies for their classes. Teachers buy rewards for the students, such as stickers, novelty erasers and pencils, and other little trinkets. These are especially important in the early grades. Teachers also purchase decorations for the classroom as well as professional materials such as grading books and calendars.
Elementary teachers generally end up spending more on their classrooms than higher grades. This is because middle school students and high school students aren’t generally impressed or motivated by stickers or little novelties.
Teachers do receive some classroom money with which they can buy materials and supplies; however, this amount of money is never enough to purchase everything that is required for the students, the teacher, and the classroom. So, although it seems unfair, teachers end up using their own money to supplement that classroom money.
Most teachers have come to accept the situation; however, it is an unfortunate state of affairs. Schools should receive the funding they need so that teachers do not have to resort to using their own money on the job.