Sometimes I think I am in the wrong profession. It’s this time of year when it happens too because this is when we as teachers are asked to order materials for the next school year. It is mind-boggling to see the amount of teaching related material that is out there. It seems like there are millions of products to choose from.
Teachers are the only people I know that spend large amounts of their own money on work related materials. I know that I have bought lots of things after my budget has been exhausted. It seems like the producers of all this fancy educational material know it too. They target us as teachers and tempt us with all sorts of things.
It’s not only that, there are certain things that I feel that I need to purchase to deliver the program that will allow my students to learn. For example, science materials. In order to do experiments, we need to have certain materials. So I hit the dollar stores and spend a few dollars getting the things together that we need to learn a scientific concept. I normally don’t mind doing this but when you start to buy materials for an experiment here and an experiment there, throughout the entire year, it starts to add up.
Teachers also tend to acknowledge each child’s birthday. It has now become a common practice in this profession and the children have come to expect it. So I hit the dollar store again and buy blank note cards so I can give each student a birthday card. I also have a prize bucket full of trinkets where they may choose anything from it as a present. I also use the prize bucket to reward students for positive behaviour, for work well done, and for special achievements. Spending the money doesn’t bother me when I see that these things can really make a child’s day.
Teachers are also expected to take training courses and update their skills. We pay for these courses and the books ourselves. I buy games and toys to have in my class for those times when we have an indoor recess and need to entertain the children. I even buy snacks and juice for celebrations throughout the year.
I don’t think people realize how much teachers care about their profession and their classes. I put my own money into my class because I choose to and because I think it makes a difference. But I know that certain companies are taking advantage of us and making tonnes of money off of generous teachers who just want to make a difference in the classroom. That’s why I think I am in the wrong profession sometimes, just something for you to think about.