Teachers spend hundreds on classroom preparation

Kirsten Glavin
Monday, August 18, 2014 - 6:10pm

Every summer, teachers are expected to furnish their classrooms for the upcoming school year. According to a survey by the National School Supply and Equipment Association, teachers spent an average of $500 on school materials last year. In many cases, this is all out of pocket.

Sandra Brindley, a teacher at the Brook Hill School in Bullard, says that even this number seems low.

"It really is a low amount, and yes, every year it seems to increase from when I first began teaching," said Brindley.

According to the national center for education statistics, in 2013, the average salary for teachers was roughly $53,000. Five hundred dollars from this can be trouble for teachers. Especially for those just starting out.

"When you first start out and even for seasoned teachers, you have a tendency to spend more, than you probably make that first month," Brindley added.

Online sites like "Adopt a Classroom," "Crowd Funding" and "Donors Choose" let teachers set up accounts that allow people to chip in.

Brindley said that it can be effective for a new teacher, but can put pressure on students families struggling economically.

"When you're in a lower social economic level, it can be very hard to do that, to ask people for more."

Some schools do give teachers an annual stipend. The Brook Hills Lower School principal says that they try to reimburse faculty members as much as they can.

"But to have a good classroom, to have a good school, all you really need - a group of students, and an affective teacher, and an effective teacher can deliver the instruction, and have an affective classroom. it makes it even better, if she has the extra things," said Sandra Fritcher, Brook Hills Lower School Principal.   

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