Last week I saw Al Roker of the Today show on television doing a public service announcement about how much teachers spend out-of-pocket on their classroom supplies. He said that teachers spend an average of $500 each year. I spent 20+ years working in an educational supply store. For some teachers (especially those who teach in the lower grades) that number seems a little low.
One year during Back to School, I was in the store working at the check out counter. In the long line were a young first-year teacher and her mother. Since it was her first classroom her mother had come with her to buy her a few things. The bill came to about $60. When they finished the young teacher turned to her mother and said, “Thanks, Mom, but just think we won’t have to do this next year.” A seasoned veteran teacher was behind her in line. She said, “Honey! (We are from Texas.) You have no idea! I have been at this for 23 years and I am still buying stuff!”
I have been out of the store for four years now. I wondered if the teachers are still buying stuff so I took a field trip this week to two local stores to see for myself what teachers were buying. (Thank you to Teach Mart in Keller, TX, and Teacher’s Tools in Hurst, TX.)
My Shopping Field Trip
Here is what I found in my research.
Calendars and class schedules are still essentials.
Things need to match!
Poppin’ Patterns make that easy!
My School Field Trip
.....desks to be arranged
…..books to be unpacked
…..games to be organized.
……names to be printed on name plates .
……”Welcome” letters to be written.
Did I mention that it was 103 degrees that day!
What happened to starting school in the fall!
Why do teachers continue to spend money and do this all this work?
If you asked the teachers they might mention that they spend most of their days in their classrooms. They want their surroundings to be pleasant and comfortable. They would surely mention that they want their kids to be successful and to pass THE TEST!
But most of all, the reason they do all this is for the anxious little girl walking through the kindergarten door on “Meet the Teacher” night.
To my precious friend, Sandi Hill, who gives all her kindergarteners the gift of believing in themselves!