Candid Teacher Admits: I had no idea I had so much “teacher stuff”.
The only thought I had as I packed my classroom and gradually moved my things to my apartment and my old bedroom in my parent’s house was: “Where did all of this stuff come from?”
I’ve been admittedly frugal over the past 2 years in terms of buying things for my classroom. Despite the fact that I have less than most teachers in my school, I still managed to acquire a large amount. It’s a good thing I don’t live at my parent’s house any more, because there is absolutely no room for me! I have SO much stuff that boxes are piled high and take up the majority of the floor in my old bedroom.
I did try to loosely track my spending on teacher items this past year and I was astounded at how much I spent. I don’t know any other job where, in order to be successful, you must purchase many of your own supplies. Looking back to initially getting hired by my district 2 years ago, I remember asking, “Won’t I be provided with any of these books or items?” I knew teachers were expected to purchase many of their own things (folders, pencils, staplers, pencil sharpeners, etc.), but I did not realize the extent. I thought that teachers bought ADDITIONAL games/activities, but I didn’t realize that I’d have to get everything myself, including things mandated by the curriculum. Doesn’t that seem a bit odd?
Well I’ve learned that in teaching, it isn’t.
I’ve bought: pencils, erasers, tons of books, office supplies, games, coloring books, lesson idea books, bulletin board supplies, CDs/tapes, storage bins, toys, puzzles, games, gifts for my students, snacks for students, and much, much more.
This is nothing compared to what other teachers buy including: backpacks/lunchboxes for students in need, winter coats, shoes, more toys/games, furniture, etc.
I can’t believe how much I already have after 2 short years. I’m sure I’ll continue to acquire more. Even though most of my teacher things are now at my parent’s house, I still have “teacher stuff” jammed into my walk-in closet (good thing there are 2 closets in my bedroom; I use the smaller one for my personal belongings) and the front coat closet (who needs to hang up coats?). My only conclusion is that I need a bigger apartment.