The new school year is already starting for students in some parts of the U.S., which means teachers are hard at work getting everything ready for their classrooms. As much as people say they value teachers, it’s one of the only professions that expects workers to provide their own supplies needed to do the job. We’d never expect a surgeon to bring their own scalpel to the operating room, but teachers have to buy all kinds of things for their students and classrooms.
While some school districts are well-funded and provide what’s needed, other teachers only get “the basics, and have to come out of pocket for everything else. Sandra Riek Gill, a teacher in Bowling Green, Kentucky, says their district provided a nice laserjet printer, but not the ink. “We were told to use our classroom budget,” she shares. “Our yearly budget was $300 and the ink was $295.”
Kelly Gallagher, a science teacher in New Jersey, says she buys supplies for labs that aren’t ordered for her, including oil, baking soda, bleach and cotton balls. To get things her class needs like stethoscopes, lab coats and supplemental books, she relies on teacher wishlist programs, where donors step in to buy those items. Some teachers see their students in need of clothes, shoes, personal items like toothbrushes, backpacks and even food for the weekend, so they buy them.
These are some surprising items teachers have to buy for their own classrooms:
- Fans: “Most of our building isn’t air conditioned, and we return on August 14th.” — Heather Mcalpin-Berkemeir, high school English teacher, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Furniture and books: “Bookcases, shelves, hundreds of books for a classroom library.” — Kathie Hilliard
- Technology and accessories: “A stand for a projector, extension cords, a computer for a student.” —Merry Mc @merrymclellan
- A desk and chair: “Somehow not provided and we aren’t allowed to use our $75 in supply money to purchase. Also, I can’t use that money for tissues, sanitizer or basic needs for students.” — Rebecca Nitterauer McCord
- Storage: “Storage bins, posters, curtains, and sometimes furniture.” — Kim Mecum
- Decor: “Bulletin board paper/borders, incentive charts/stickers/prizes, any decorations” — Denise Iannascola Matarante
Source: Huff Post