Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director The Badass Teachers Association
When Betsy DeVos became the U.S. Secretary of Education, her first social media interaction was to joke that she could not find the pencils.
Had DeVos ever visited a public school and spoken to public school teachers she would have understood that many teachers purchase items for their classrooms, including pencils. I will invite you to tweet what you have purchased for your classroom to DeVos @BetsyDevosED #Pencils4Betsy or email her your list.
I have done blog entries highlighting how teachers go above and beyond before but it seems that not only do some folks need a refresher of what teachers spend on their children and classroom, but Ms. DeVos needs to read this ENTIRE list. She needs to understand that children, and teachers, deprived of materials, is NOT a joke. She needs to know what teachers spend out of their pocket to make sure that children have their basic needs met so that they can learn and function.
What is most disheartening is that I have seen on various social media sites people posting that teachers need to “stop whining” about what they are purchasing for children. Teachers need to “stop bragging” about what they are purchasing for children. Teachers need to “stop trying to come off as a hero” for what they are purchasing for children. We are not whining, we are not bragging, and we don’t need to be heroes. What we need people to understand is that the children in this country are suffering and starving.
Teachers are the first responders to this suffering and starving – we are NOT going to be quiet about that!
The following list was created from feedback on the Facebook page (the responses have not been edited) – The Badass Teachers Association. To join the group you can go here https://www.facebook.com/groups/BadAssTeachers/
I buy binders, composition books, books, around $100
About $250.00 for basic start up supplies-weekly I can't even imagine. My grocery list looks like 20 people live in my house-crackers, cereal, fruit, anything on sale!
I buy shoes and coats as well as school supplies.
I haven't added my receipts from last year, but I've purchased: boxes of tissue, bottles of hand sanitizer, markers, pencils, pens, notebooks, lots of bags of chocolate, tuna salad snack packs (that come with crackers), microwavable mac n cheese boxes, coffee (I teach at an alternative h.s.), cookies, sweet bread, tortilla chips, orange juice, milk, napkins, forks, paper plates, and in the past, have paid for hair cuts, bus fare, a pair of pants and a pair of gym shoes...well over $100 per year. Imagine a politician having to pay for his/her own microphone!
This year I bought 90 spiral notebooks, 90 folders, treats for holiday parties, decorations for my room, hand sanitizer, tissues, not to mention buying activities from sites like teacher pay teacher to enhance instruction (we do not have a textbook). Total (this year) about $500...oh and the years only half over...
$100 pair of glasses for a boy whose mother couldn't afford them.
$10+ a week for food to supplement free/reduced meals--pretzels, peanut butter crackers, cereal, cheese sticks, yogurts,etc.,-- holiday craft items so they can make presents for family members-
-$200, school supplies--$200+ (folders, notebooks, paper, crayons, colored pencils, etc.), scholarships for field trips $200 per year, $500 for classroom incentives--prizes, games, stickers, reward certificates, etc. Alternative curricula items --interactive notebooks, activities, etc. $500 .
Besides many regular classroom supplies, I've replaced shoes that were worn completely through the soles, I've made sure that no child missed the end-of-year field trip due to cost, and I've replaced worn out binders and backpacks when needed.
Composition books, science project display materials, pens, pencils, paper and books. It has cost me between $1,000 and $2,000 per year.
A dress, strapless bra, jewelry, cardigan, and shoes for a student for our 8th grade luncheon. And, most of the normal stuff already stated. File folder boxes x 6, hanging folders, colored file folders, page protectors, name tags for drama assignment....
Oh yes, lunch for students during field trips, at least 2-3 kids per trip if we'd eat out. My total? Probably $500. My husband is a teacher too, his probably $500 as well.
Kid clothes, books, backpacks, lunch bags, composition notebooks, pencils, expo pens, sharpies, art supplies, staplers, and entrance to field trips.
$200 for socks, underwear, pants and shirts because the student had been absent because she didn't have clothes to wear because the mom threw the kids out and they were living with their dad in a friend's basement. $10 for toothbrush and toothpaste for a student who didn't have one.
Hats, mittens, snowpants in northern NY, $100+.
Tissues, highlighters, post-it notes, notebook paper, peppermints, pens = about $200
On top of everything else, I've bought $20 shoes for a student before, adding to my total of about $500/year.
I teach theatre so I spend money on productions because there is always more needed than the budget allows. That amounts to about $500 a year. I send care packages to former students at college and in the service. About $300 a year. Then probably $300 on other things from food to teaching materials. Total about $1200 a year.
5-subject notebooks @$7.00 each (usually 7/8 each year), scissors, glue sticks, tissues every 2 weeks, colored pencil, ink pens, more than $250.00 a year.
gift cards to Target, Value Village, etc. to help choir/band kids buy the necessary black pants and white shirts for concerts. And I don't teach band/choir - I'm their Teacher Librarian. Books - oh so many books - for my library because a budget of $4.25/student doesn't go very far. I keep a drawer full of granola bars/cup a noodles/soup/snacks to feed kids who need it (I have 950 students and a Free/Reduced lunch rate of about 81% so do the math). The usual pens/pencils/notepaper/spiral notebooks/3 ring binders for kids who need (I keep a shelf of stuff like this).
Satin waterbased varnish, 24 foam brushes, and high density foam for one advanced art project. $80.
I usually spend about $500 a year.
Uniform clothes for middle school students, $30
In the past five years I have bought the usual... binders, composition notebooks, page protectors, sticky notes, pens, tape, paper clips, expo markers, cardstock, multiple printer cartridges, two printers... Ive probably spent over $200 in pencil sharpeners... I've paid for a child's prescriptions...
I've also bought supplies for my kids that don't bring any, Clorox wipes, baggies for guided reading books, clothes, socks, shoes, food, backpacks, lunches, lice shampoo, coats, supplies for science projects, supplies for parent gifts at Christmas, deodorant, books, classroom furniture, at least 15 boxes of bandaids, ice packs for my freezer, snacks for random things like Dr. Seuss week, oh- a box of Valentines for a child who didn't have any to pass out... shall I go on?
I hate to think how much I have spent, but I do know it's been at least $500-$900 a year.
I have spent $10,000 over the last ten years on my classroom library.
Aside from the 100's spent on supplies for students, back packs, tooth paste and brushes, clothes, jackets, boots etc, I've paid for glasses, prescriptions, field trips. It is a never ending list, the very least of which is pencils.......
All types of supplies like pencils, spiral notebooks, crayons, glue sticks, at least 5 reams of 500 sheets of printer paper. Notebook paper, felt pens, Plus many forgotten items like snacks etc.
I teach 1st grade and have a student who hasn't had power or much food in his house since early December. After I shared I had a student in need our faculty continues to contribute food and we work tirelessly to hook the family to resources.
We each help in our little corner of the world. ❤ over $300 and counting
1000+ pens, notebook paper, colored pencils, markers ($200), doughnuts and juice for breakfast on PSAT day about $50, lunch for my debate team $400 (4 lunch dates after competition) kleenex, hand sanitizer, lotion, soap for the faculty bathroom etc $100.
Tissues, markers, dry erase boards, post-its, computer cleaning supplies, broom and dustpan, dry erase board erasers, file folders, pencils, pens, crayons, colored pencils, masking tape, folders, copy paper, card stock, duct tape, egg timers, stress balls, fidgets, light bulbs, applesauce, granola bars, juice boxes, hand soap, books, bookmarks, legos, scissors, glue sticks, yarn, lunch bags, crepe paper, pocket charts, book repair tape, labels...
Books, books, books, books, art supplies, food, food, food, food, books, books, food, books, science materials, books, books, books, musical instruments, books, books, books
Copies of novels- 15 at about $7.00 each, too many boxes of Kleenex to mention, bookshelves for my classroom - one for $20, one for $35, paper, pencils, curriculum materials, etc.
4 journals at $1.00 each x 25 students = $100.00, pencils at $2.00 a box of 10 = $100.00, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, whiteboard markers, tissues, paper towels, copy paper $25.00 for a pack of 10. I use 4 packs minimum a month. Ink for the printer. Books for the students to take home. A minimum of ten books per student. These are books they keep. I have purchased clothing for students in need and back packs. Pencil cases, and erasers. Not to count flask cards and dominoes and dice plus borders and faceless paper and file folders and sheet protectors. Stickers and rewards plus certificates, name taps, desk top rulers. Plus so much more. Last year l had approximately $2,500 in school supplies that l spent so my students can be successful. Plus books, books, and more books for my classroom library that must be worth $10,000. Plus supplies for the classroom such a scotchtape, wide tape, staplers, staples, office supplies, index cards, construction paper, etc, k cannot walk out of a Dollar Tree under $50 in school supplies. Last year l even purchased a turkey for a family in need at the holidays. I had not realized how expensive turkeys were since l get mine with reward points. The turkey was over $40.
A Non-Bat middle school teacher friend of mine bought a homeless student $100.00 worth of clothes and shoes so the student would have more than 2 outfits to wear.
20 new Texas Instruments calculators $210.00; items for classroom store (PBS) wonder if she knows that one! @$400; science supplies which are not part of my ESE curriculum but has to be taught @$500. That's just this year! Plus your typical supplies-@$1,000 copy paper, pencils...
Pencils, science supplies, stickers, food...$200.
Paper, crayons, markers, color pencils, scissors, printer cartridges, sticky notes, index cards, staples, white boards, ear phones, multiple, expo markers, shoes, mittens, gloves, coats, pants, shirts, underwear. Snacks for daily snacks. Glue, glue sticks, laminate and laminator. Desk labels, posters, books. Printer paper. I am sure a spend over $500.00 a year. I am sure this is on the low side.
Pencil sharpeners, staplers, staples, glue sticks, tape, folders, printer paper, printer ink, construction paper, pencils, stickers, markers, crayons, pens, notebooks, binders. Potting soil, paper cups and seeds so they could grow plants and write about them during plant unit. Bulletin board paper and border for bulletin boards, posters. Plastic organizers for school supplies. Index cards, post-it notes. Snacks and drinks for holiday parties. Books for the classroom library. Dry erase markers, and individual whiteboards. Tissues, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, wipes for cleaning the desktops. At least $400/year.
Granola bars, fruit, money for gas, books for reading assignments, tissues, post-it notes, field trip $, lunch money...@$300/year.
I used to buy socks
Glue, markers, underwear, Kleenex, snacks, pencils, folders, laminate and laminator, potty seat, fidgets, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, glue sticks, hot glue gun, play dough, books, apps, construction paper, card stock, stickers, posters, puppets, games, manipulatives, crayons...
Books books books art supplies & resources tissues hand wipes soap lotion ( their skin gets dry from clay!) coats hats shoes gift certificates snacks and love (which is free & unconditional).
Tissues, hand sanitizer, hearing aid batteries (I work with students with hearing loss), stickers, markers, crayons, dry erase boards, index cards to create flash cards...at least $500/year
For my high school math class: the usual - Pencils, pens, colored pencils, graph paper, loose leaf, binders, paper for the printer, books to supplement the curriculum, dice, Barbie dolls (for bungee jumping), playing cards, rubber bands, rulers, sharpies, granola bars, kleenex, sweatshirts, clothes, and college tution to be able to take my college class in high school: lowball price: $3000. Reward - priceless
meals, co-signed for a car loan, down payment for an attorney so she could fight to keep her kid, scholarship $ monthly, $ to start a non-profit, diapers, books, Xmas gifts for their kids, driving lessons... What's a salary for?
I buy clothes, coats, daily snacks (Morning and afternoon,) paper, pencils, markers, crayons, and a ton of stuff from teachers’ pay teachers.... because I have no curriculum.
Though I am retired, at the beginning of the school year, from purchased made over the summer vacation, bought pencil cases, sharpeners, erasers, pencils, pens, comp notebooks and a doodle pad Cost: ~$100+ and it was my pleasure to do this 🙂
Cleaning supplies, such as clorox wipes and 409. Nobody but me cleans computer headsets that are used every hour. My teaching materials are old and out of date. I have purchased magazines and new reading materials out of my own pocket. I also pay for pencils, paper, binders, band aids...
Paper, notebooks, binders, markers, crayons, pencils, pens, curriculum materials, library books, computer programs, speakers, toner, fabric, craft supplies, glue, paint, snacks, lunches, and that's what I can come up with at this time of nite..... cost (more than I will admit to my husband!) ..... at least $500.....
School supplies - pencils, crayons, paper, folders, etc. Food. Underwear. Socks. Books. Backpacks.
Hats. Scarves. Coats. Toothbrushes. Science equipment and supplies. My teaching partner of 15 years used to deliver donated turkeys to families at their homes. When they need it, we get it for them.
Even in higher ed---many of us keep snacks and supplies on hand for our college students who need help getting through to payday or just a hard time.
Cereal and granola bars, shirts, sweatshirts, PE clothes, field trip expenses, folders, binders, notebooks, pens, pencils, calculators, art supplies, feminine hygiene products, snacks and incentives, dance admission, science lab supplies, apps for the iPads, computer software and subscriptions, lunches, cleaning supplies, printer ink and toner, laminating pockets, novels, headphones, USB chargers, index cards, hair bands, bobby pins, safety pins, Band-aids, sharpener, photocopies, flash drives, games, sports equipment, CD player. I probably spend $1500-$2000 each year.
n books, pencils, dry erase markers, notebook paper, printer paper, markers, highlighters, ear buds, erasers, snacks, computer apps/software, pencil sharpeners, pencil lead, classroom incentive items, movies, craft supplies, bike helmets, shoelaces, clothes, books.
For art class, pencils, plaster, ceramic glazes, brush holders, brushes, sculpture materials, tape, computer printer and ink cartridges, snacks, breakfast foods, colored pencils
Specialized paper, pencils, different types of adaptive scissors, specialized feeding dishes and utensils, sensory toys, fine motor and visual perceptual practice books and games, clothing. I probably spend $250-$300 per year (I'm an OT in special education).
My husband is a HS science teacher. He buys pens, pencils, colored pencils, lab materials, paper, paper clips, staplers and staples, scissors, glue sticks, and various other office supplies, also totaling about $250-$300.
There's no way I could keep up with everything I've bought- especially over the years.
The biggest purchase was probably a desk for my classroom, though. And I also built shelves for my books and supplies, and largest cubbies to go into my closets.
Mostly art supplies and expo markers. Usually I spend about 300 each year
Antibacterial wipes, dry erase markers, small individual whiteboards and erasers, all the typical office supplies, healthy snacks in case someone didn't get breakfast or needed to take meds with something to eat, bookcases, paper shredder-I was a sped teacher and shredded paper a lot, a mold test kit one year, posters, bandaids, safety pins, needles and thread, screwdriver for eyeglasses, some playground equipment, special paper, adaptive scissors, binders, teachers' guides in some cases so I could help with homework for the classes I didn't coteach, Kleenex, extra hats, gloves, mittens, hoodies, novels for classroom library, and yes, pencils. I know there's more.
Tissue, folders, notebooks, markers, crayons, glue, colored pencils, paper, headphones, bulletin board supplies, pens, pencils, birthday stickers & book coupons, post-its, treats for celebrations, games, laminating film, books, white board markers & erasers, colored printer ink, labels, student store stuff (shopkins, Pokémon, journals, bracelets, monster feet, etc.), manipulatives, fabric for my crate seats, pizza lunches, and more I'm sure! At least $600 easy!!!
I teach PreK students with hearing loss. Over the years I have purchased: a TTY to communicate with deaf parents (back in the day!), winter coats, snowpants, boots, mittens, gloves, hats, gym shoes, spare clothes, underwear, socks, bathing suits, swim diapers, toothbrushes/toothpaste, denture floss to clean hearing aid earmolds, batteries, healthy snacks for students, juice, notebooks, cardstock, pens, big pencils for the kids, post-its, tape dispensers, staplers, three hole punch, copy paper, ink for printer, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, diapers/pull-ups, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, lotion, fleece pullovers to wear when it is too cold in the room, fleece blankets for naptime, numerous DVDs for indoor recess, toys, doll house, furniture for doll house, dolls for doll house, play food for kitchen area, community helper costumes, costumes for Nursery Rhyme music program, playdoh, wooden puzzles, floor puzzles, train set with tracks, an LA traffic jam of cars, trucks and other vehicles, supplementary reference materials and hands-on manipulatives for thematic units, food for cooking experiences in the classroom, treats for classroom parties, food to support lessons, storage containers, BOOKS! BOOKS! BOOKS!
This is not a complete list. My best guess, low-end rough estimate, over the past 25 years: $30K+
Every penny spent with love and the goal of helping students.
Tissue, tissue, tissue. Also curricular materials, pencil sharpeners, bandaids, whiteboards, markers, and erasers, snacks, classroom rewards, birthday cards, writers' workshop materials, and my own space heater. Volunteers whom I recruited on my own, gave notebooks, folders, paper, binders, markers, pencils, erasers, pens, lead, crayons, jump drives, staples, tape, Post Its, glue, tacks, paper clips, binder clips, and even my office chair.
When orchestra kids go to contest, everybody in black socks are a thing and points are deducted. It is silly, but it is a thing, so I have bought black socks in bulk so my students' hard work is rewarded and not hindered by his socks.
Classroom materials, supplemental materials, tissues, folders notebooks, markers, pencils, pens, paper, rewards/ treats, granola bars, Lunch once a month of pizza or dollar menu items for the tables that succeed, fastfood giftcards on occasion, Christmas gifts, books, thrift store uniform clothing, coats, gloves, hats and back packs. Poster/trifold boards, classroom subscriptions to different magazines and apps. that is a good start but that is only part of it I'm sure if I had more time to think about it.
Pencils, erasers, folders, notebooks, cards, rewards, crackers, graham crackers, jelly, PB, tissues, paper, stickers, stuffed animals for writers' workshop, books, more books, hats and mittens, . all adds up to about $1000 a year.
Over the years:. Backpacks, clothes, coats, sneakers, food, batteries for calculators and hearing aids, baby clothes (teen mom), soap, detergent, and deodorant, cab fare for emergencies , care package for a hospitalized student, pens, paperclips, staples, printer cartridges, sharpies, dictionaries, binders, index cards, glue sticks, fidgets, hand sanitizer, tissues, dry erase markers, paper, thesauruses, other books, pencils, sharpeners, lesson plans, etc. This year, at least $500. And the year is only half over.
Our school's art and literary magazine had been reduced to a black and white photocopied hand out. A group of students wanted to revive it to be like other magazines of more affluent schools. They asked me to sponsor, and for three years we produced a 32 page full color Art and Literary Magazine that received Excellent and Superior ratings at the state level. One year we expanded to include an original music cd of student music in the back of the book. I donated my full teacher stipend each year to supplement our fundraising for the book production.
art supplies including materials for the room that would allow kids to have water containers, paper towels, and all the cleaning supplies for the desks. Books for curriculum development.
books, books, books! scissors, markers, tape, folders, paper, subscription to Tumbleweed, various curriculum enhancers (such as for HG series), food, chapstick, PENCILS!, bookmarks and posters from ALA, decorative stuff for walls.... at least 1000.00 bucks a year..... (remember that heart- wrenching commercial where the husband is mad at the wife for buying stuff for her classroom, then she looks over and he is in another line buying supplies for her?) ....sigh.....
My colleagues and I have paid for things ranging from lunches to field trips. In a couple of cases these field trips included a 4 day trip to Washington, DC.
snacks, notebooks, folders, markers, crayons, paper plates, art supplies (since Kindergarten doesn't get art class), books and CDs for my listening center....a couple hundred dollars
Books, notebooks, books, pens, books, paper, books, snacks, books, suckers, poster board, markers, , other school supplies, and books. About $1000-$1200 a year.
Today, a power strip to charge their iPads in Pre-k, $15.
I spent an average of $1200 per year on folders, pencils, sharpeners, office supplies, BOOKS, posters, subscriptions to sites with materials to use in my curriculum, fans (no ac), hats, scarves, etc. Food!
$10 per week on cereal and snacks
Back to school supplies $200. Clothing for students who need clothes and coats $200. Gifts for their families from the holiday shop $100. Donation to Santa fund for needy kids $100. Kleenex paper towel Purell cleaning products for the year $100. Yearbooks books from book fair etc $100+. Trips /field trips. $$$. Shall I keep going? The money we earn is a God given gift and we in turn help others less fortunate.
Notebooks so far this year, and food
In my kindergarten world - school lunches $2.45 each time, several times a week, backpacks - $15 - 25, fines for lost library books, field trip money, buy our class t-shirt, extra clothing to keep on hand when needed, coats, shoes, curriculum to differentiate
Notebooks, folders, pencils, pencil pouches, paperback books, colored pencils, crayons, snacks. $500