Teachers navigate cost to create classrooms, save money
According to Adopt a Classroom, educators spend an average of $750 of their own money each year.
VERONA, Wis. (WMTV) - Before the school year begins, teachers are busy getting their classrooms ready. Whether it’s building new bulletin boards or decorating student desks, educators spend an average of $750 of their own money each year.
According to the organization Adopt a Classroom, 95% of teachers say their classroom supply budget will not be enough to meet their student’s needs.
West Middleton Elementary School teacher Rachel Hulsey says she’s fortunate to work in a school where she can get the supplies they need.
“In my experience being here the last few years, I would say that whatever we’ve needed for students, our families here at West Middleton and in the larger Middleton community have always helped teachers provide what students need,” said Hulsey.
The 4th grade teacher has spent more than twenty years working in education and knows this isn’t always the case.
“I think it’s always been true that teachers have spent money on their classrooms,” she added. “It’s really based in excitement because we want to provide students with what they need.”
Because of her experience in the last two decades, Hulsey enjoys helping younger teachers build their own classrooms. Often times, more veteran teachers will share materials or gently used supplies with those just starting out.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to share classroom materials and also anything that goes into planning and preparation,” said Hulsey. “I would say that it’s pretty common across the profession that teachers love to share.”
Most teachers will look to their own supply closets before requesting an item from the district or running out to buy something themselves.
“We become very resourceful at using what we have,” said Hulsey. “Sometimes it’s just more convenient and sometimes it does save money, so we reuse at lot of things.”
Creating a classroom that is welcoming is one of the most important parts of the first week of school, according to Hulsey.
“We create a space that that feels like home and it enables us to grow like a family,” she said. “All the time that teachers spend in classrooms leading up to the first day or the first moment we meet our students is critical. Preparation is key and we spend hours, hours getting ready for that.”
If you’re looking to donate to your child’s classroom, educators say asking your teacher if there’s anything he or she needs is a great place to start.
Most teachers say there’s other ways you can help your teacher besides donating money or supplies. Giving of your time and offering to volunteer in the classroom can be even more beneficial to your child’s learning experience.
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