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I have a job... but now what?

Posted by on Jun. 21, 2009 at 3:43 PM
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So I was just offered a position teaching 3rd grade (possibly Kindergarten if they get enough enrolled to add another class) ... but Im really worried about money.

I found out that I will get 500 dollars to spend on Language art and math stuff like manipulatives and books and such.. but nothing for the basics like pencils, crayons, glue, scissors, bins, folders and stuff like that. 

I know you can get them cheap at sales and stuff but they can add up.  My husband lost his job and we are very short on cash..even for bills... let alone extra spending for my classroom.

I was wondering how you all started up your classrooms and if there are any first year teacher grants to help me with getting supplies.. i did a google search and didnt find much but grants for specific projects.. i cant even think that far ahead yet because i dont even have the basics.  I was supposed to be taking the summer off of work but Ive even taken up a job waitressing to earn some extra money for bills and hopefully some extra for my classroom but its not looking like i will have much.


by on Jun. 21, 2009 at 3:43 PM
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by on Jun. 21, 2009 at 3:56 PM
It is NOT your responsibility to buy those supplies and do NOT get sucked into doing it. If the school won't provide those items then the parents need to go to the district and demand it or they need to provide those supplies not you. I have never heard of a school district requiring its teachers to purchase the basic items like paper and pencils. If this is the case I would run to the closest union rep and find out what your rights are as a teacher.

Toss Toss No Hands!

by Member on Jun. 21, 2009 at 4:16 PM

First off let me say that a $500 budget is AWESOME!!!!!!!! I have never heard of a district out here giving that much per teacher. Secondly, the materials you speak of are usually on school supply lists. The students bring those items in.

I will say that I go to Wal mart every August. They have supplies for CHEAP. I always stock up, for there will always be parents who don't buy their kids crap, no matter how many times you remind them.

Also - As you teach every year, you'll find you have to buy less and less manipulatives. We teachers build up in our classrooms. Eventually that $500 can be spent on other things. My co teachers who have been in the game 25 plus years have bins full of pencils, stickers, crayons, etc.


by Member on Jun. 21, 2009 at 4:25 PM

It is not your responsiblity to provide folders, crayons, glue sticks, etc. Don't provide them for the kids at all, or they will expect you to have those materials at all times for their consumption.

You can start your classroom with $500. I wasn't given ANYTHING to start my classroom with, and managed to spend less than $50 out of pocket for start up my first year.

Good luck!

by Member on Jun. 21, 2009 at 9:04 PM

The 500 bucks is part of some extra spending money.. im assuming like a grant type thing because it can only be used for Language Arts and Math stuff.  It is really great to be able to have that.. plus in October we get another 500 dollars to do it all again.  (They even do a group shopping day at the teacher store near by)... it will be fun.

She did say that the school has supplies but not a whole bunch... she mentioned the supply list parents buy .. but like others said there will be those parents that dont buy anything or cant afford to and so on.. or things get lost/broken ect.

I did see the kindergarten rooms and there just isnt really that "play" stuff I was hoping there would be... if i do get that grade then i def. want to look into that stuff at garage sales and such.

I went to a store that has some teacher items and alot of the stuff that i would love to have can really be tied into language/math stuff that i can buy with the beginning money so im pretty happy about that. 

I also looked through the stuff ive slowly accumulated over my college years and found that i have a ton of stuff i forgot about.  like a job board chart, large class graphic organizers, a venn diagram chart, sentence chart and so on.. i even found alot of like art and craft stuff... so im excited.. i just cant wait to get it all set up in my room to just actually see that its all real haha.

im teaching in a pretty low income school so i know many parents may not have the extra money for things to donate like tissue and so i guess im just getting before school jitters.... guess im just jumping the gun. 

i havent had a chance to look at the teacher supply room yet at the school to see exactly what is there for me to use so i suppose i should check that out first... im not planning on buying much of anything for a while (simply cuz i dont know what grade im doing). 

thanks for making me feel a bit less stressed about it all.  there are some luxury items that i want like storage containers and bins and such.  thanks

by on Jun. 21, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Some of the things you talk about can be put on a supply list and the families in your classroom can bring them in. You can also have a list of the extra supplies you need and have it posted, you'd be surprised at how many people will bring things in for you. I have usually given extra stuff to help the classroom out. There are two websites that are really good that I have used to donate to my children's classrooms. The first is Adopt-A-Classroom -  and DonorsChoose -  You can put your requests here  and let people know that it is available for them to donate.

Good luck.


“Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~~ Scott Adams
by Member on Jun. 22, 2009 at 5:25 PM

 $500??? wow.. can I come teach there?

My first year in fifth grade.. I got what was in the room. there was no money offered or given until the budget process began for the following school year.

Pencils, crayons, etc. are the parent's responsibility.

DO NOT shell out money from your own pocket if your family is in dire financial straits. Get creative. There are TONS of things you can do without forking over a ton of money.

Manipulatives.... There aren't any already in the room??? Dang.. I am swamped with manipulatives. ..... most I don't even use cause they're not appropriate for the content I teach.

My budget for the school year next year.... $270.  Yep, that's it.

         Happy Trails!
by on Jun. 25, 2009 at 12:25 AM

Make a list of supplies you want every child to have- be specific.  Talk to other teachers in the grade to see what they require and go with that.  Then, anything you want for classroom use, you can have a "give to the class" bulletin board for open house so that parents can know what items you want for the classroom.  They can take items off the list to buy and send back to the classroom.

Most places (like Walmart and Staples/OfficeMax, etc.) have HUGE sales at the beginning of the school year with stuff like crayons for 10 cents a pack.  Stock up then.

You can also redo the classroom gifts idea at Christmas.

Ask for people to give you gift cards for Walmart and Staples/OfficeMax for gifts to use when you need to restock.

Ask other teachers how they stock their classrooms.

If you go to church, ask if a Sunday School class might adopt your classroom for the school year or something to buy supplies.




by on Jul. 7, 2009 at 1:50 PM stay at home moms--in store demonstrations

We have been in business since 1986

by Member on Jul. 22, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Despite poverty, parents can supply pencils, paper and crayons...Staples sells these things for 1 cent during summer back to school sales.  Elementary teachers here get  $500 per year to teachers K-6 for needed supplies.  There is a catch.  You buy it and get reimbursed for it.  There are lots of freebies out there for teachers, including one site I found on the Totally Free Stuff website that gives out a classroom set of rulers.  You just have to search for it.  Also, try the PTA.  Many times they have money and want to know what it is that teachers in the building are needing.

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