Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 09 2011

Teacher Wishlist

Growing up in a public school, even in a upper-middle class district, I remember constantly hearing teachers say how they bought us things out of pocket. It goes without saying that 10% of your salary goes right back into your classroom… This year I have invested in notebooks for every student, tons of pens and pencils, manila folders, file folders, pens for grading, markers for the whiteboard, markers for chart paper, milk crates to organize, bookshelves, treats and prizes for my kids, and whatever else. You might say, Don’t you have a supplies budget? and I might answer The teacher from last year (whose job I have) spent it all on things that never showed up & the $200 worth of supplies I ordered with school funds three months ago never showed up…

Anyway, note to self:

One time buy:

  1. Electric pencil sharpener (2)
  2. 3M hooks (big plastic kind)
  3. Metal or plastic paper trays (5)
  4. Area rug

Always a need:

  1. Pencils (wood & mechanical)
  2. Mass amounts of black and blue pens
  3. Small amounts of colored pens
  4. Sharpie chart markers (reallllly need!)
  5. White board markers (thick)
  6. Manila folders
  7. Notebook paper
  8. Colored print paper (not construction)
  9. Sticker nametags/big labels
  10. Post-its
  11. 3×5 cards

4 Responses

  1. CLB

    I have found the weirdest things at garage sales lately (and at the goodwill). I love this website: http://www.garagesalecow.com/

    I’ve been going to Goodwill’s in ‘ritzier’ neighborhoods… it’s sad to me what people throw out–stuff that’s never been used, school supplies, etc. But one man’s ‘trash’…

    So suffice to say, it may be worth taking a saturday or a sunday afternoon to drive to a different area (not quite sure where you are in the Delta) and see if you can find some good things. And when people start spring cleaning you can rack up on some good stuff, too.

    And, you likely already know this but thought I’d pass it on… I have my students cut their notebooks in half. Often they never use the whole page and this way you get more bang for the buck. (this can be kinda dangerous though as scissors +thick paper = bad results, so you may want to do this yourself, with a good papercutter, or a couple of pages at a time). Even if it comes out looking a little questionable (trust me… mine from last semester look like a mouse chewed them in half) it does help.

    And yes, you’re absolutely right that 10% of our salary goes back into our classroom. My accountant even laughs at the amount they let us deduct from our taxes as she knows it’s not even the tip of the iceberg. I’m not sure if the amount is the same across the nation, but when you get your taxes done, be sure to ask if that is an option.

  2. tfa90sjh

    quick thought: i, too, did the same thing twenty years ago. it can be mind boggling thinking about the continual implication of that…

  3. Cindy

    Please, go here https://www.nationalteacherregistry.com/grworks/grws
    And create your classroom wish list. Encourage your TFA and teacher friends to set up wish lists for their classrooms too.

  4. Susan Corak

    Hi Caroline, I’ve been reading your blog and looking for a way to help. Please send a shipping address to my wmich address and I’ll send some goodies!

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