Classroom Funding Strategies

Im still in college. What can I expect to pay out of pocket for supplies when I start teaching?

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Your classroom can be all that you want it to be, but of course the more elaborate it is, the more money you’re going to spend... In the same way, your lessons can be basic, requiring very basic things- maybe just pencil and paper, OR you can spend more money to have all the things you need to make your lessons more fun and engaging. I’ve found that I spend less on supplies at the middle and high school level than I did at the elementary level. The first year or 2 are the most expensive, and then you’ll begin to slowly accumulate things you need from year to year. A good supply list at the beginning of each year really helps!

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Hi all! There are some really great sites on here that came up last week. I encourage every one to look. I spent $0 money last year, and the year before. From using Facebook to Amazon wishlist to using www.betterlesson.com. I also received items from companies by simply asking. You can have a great classroom without going broke. 🙏🏼

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Depends on your school and your curriculum (or lack thereof)

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Depends. But I would check out the suggestions offered in this bowl. Try not to spend more than $250

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It definitely depends on your school and the parent involvement. At my first school there wasn’t much parent involvement and I spent a lot of money on supplies. Where I am currently my parents are super involved and my school has classroom funds designated to each teacher so I spent my teacher lead money and that’s about it!

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It’s according to how decorative you want your classroom. That’s the first expense. Look on Pinterest to get ideas. I have never taught where every student brings supplies. Go ahead and stock up on basics. Most counties supply consumables- construction paper , bulletin board paper, copy paper , dry erase markers , etc; but I’m sure there are some that do not. If you want anything like a mini fridge - that’s an expense. Mentor teachers in your school should be helpful. Really - we decorate for ourselves. The children really don’t care. They just want a loving caring teacher. Don’t go overboard buying - at the end of every year - teachers always discard items - it’s like a teacher yard Sale

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Don't spend a lot on supplies until after the students start. see what they bring in. check with local businesses and ask if they will host a supply drive for you. Autobell does one for me every year

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It depends on your individual schools. I work in a K-12 district so I travel between schools. My middle and high school give teachers supplies if they need them, the elementary school wouldn’t even give me a marker because “that’s the teacher’s responsibility” 🙄. Reach out to parents, some are bound to have a stockpile of supplies from post back to school season sales. You just have to plan ahead when making lesson plans. There are plenty of times where I would love to do a lesson, but it requires a lot of purchases. It’s easy for those little things to rack up

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You have to be smart. Many teachers keep clutter and they over buy. what grade level are you teaching when you begin in the classroom? Different depending on grade. The Dollar Tree is your friend.

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I knew I would be working in a very low income school so while I was in college I worked at Target and every year after back to school I would buy supplies on super sale

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In the q and a last week I shared finding your local neighborhood Facebook group. I would then post I was looking for donations and whether they could drop them off or I would pick up. I use freecycle (yahoo group) and Next Door the same way!

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I spent a lot my first year, less my second but still a decent amount because I moved grade levels. My first year I calculated I spent roughly $1200-1500...and that was with a lot of stuff donated to me by a veteran teacher friend. Included in that amount was a subscription to 40htw, scholastic.com, a monthly TPT amount, and a season decor amount, along with LOTS OF STORAGE to keep things organized and also end of year pack up. The second year I spent under $500 over the whole year because I was in a new grade level. I bought a lil more decor and more storage and little gifts throughout the year. Give yourself a monthly budget for sure the first year and try your best to keep to it. Some months I spent a lot and some none. Priorities to buy are things to keep your organized. I like to go to a bargain fabric store and get large cheap pieces of fabric and use those on bulletin boards. Good Luck!

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It depends on the school district and school you work at, some school provide a lot and others just a little. And if your lucky you will have supportive parents that provide things for the class

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I was in the same boat. I didn’t spend more than $200. Check around with people you know who teach and see if they’re willing to let with anything and people who used to teach. I went to garage sales and estate sales and actually found some great storage stuff for my room!

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A good amount of money. If you’re handed a “canned” curriculum, then it will be less. However, for more a more engaging class experience you will have to create your own resources (think TpT). Classroom decor, videos, etc. you will most likely have to purchase beyond initial beginning of school year supplies.

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Like everyone said it depends on school /parent involvement/ and area... My first year I probably spent about $600 of my own money but I had to get things like bookshelves and pretty much all my materials. I started using donors choose though that buys you things that are “classroom owned” so they won’t leave the school your at but you don’t have to pay for them. I did a lot of Facebook marketplace buys- a lot of times retiring teachers feel bad for us newbies and they give you things extra cheap or for free!

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We have one teacher that keeps everything in her Basement because she has a years worth of center games but doesn’t want other people to ruin them (because everything shared in our school gets ruined) and they tried fighting her in it lol

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You don’t know whether you will have your own classroom or you’ll be floating. Your school might have policies about decorations, or not decorating. One of the most disheartening things as a teacher was to invest money in a way of doing something only to find that they wanted it to be done a completely different way. I remember designing and having made this rather elaborate lesson plan book, only to find that they wanted untenured teachers to turn in their lesson plans using this stupid format (which of course, they seldom read). That book I made went virtually untouched.

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Reach out to any mentor teachers or other teachers that you know and ask if they have anything they’re not using anymore. I’ve done almost my entire classroom (I’m a special educator so I have a small space) with things people have given me.

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I spent somewhere between $1300-$1500 on necessities my first year. 😫 I now try to keep it around $100/year. Moving districts last year cost me about $300-$400, though.

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I spent a lot my first year. I didn’t have to- but I wanted my classroom to look a specific way. I was lucky and was taking over the classroom of a teacher who retired so I did not have to purchase any books for my classroom library. I spent money on things for bulletin boards, chalk markers, flexible seating choices and decorations. I also spent a bit of money on games to use at centers and during in door recess. I probably spent around 2K my first year but have been able to spend much much less over the last two school years because I have kept good care of the stuff I bought my first year. If you’re going to splurge my suggestions would be to keep everything organized and stress to your class how to take good care of your stuff. I always say “treat my stuff like you would treat a puppy!"

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Hopefully your school has some money set aside in their budget for you to stock up a little. Other teachers in your building will help you too. $250 out of pocket will get you started. Amazon Days and Target discount will help. Garage sales.

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