Do Art Teachers Spend Too Much Out of their Own Pocket?
I am cheap.
Let me explain….
Every year at our tax appointment, the “Tax Man” gets to the portion of the appointment where he says “Oh you are a teacher! Tell me how much money you spend out of your own pocket on your classroom supplies. You know, you can deduct this from your taxes.” Every year I stare at him and say, “Um… a few dollars, maybe.” He looks perplexed and goes on to tell me how every other teacher deducts the max amount they can, because they are always buying things out of their own pocket for their classrooms. Not me.
Maybe I am just cheap?
Frugal sounds better…
Ok, maybe I am just smart… or a tightwad :)
To be honest, I find it difficult to spend personal money on my job. Instead, I find ways to use what I already have, secure other resources, ask for donations, do a fundraiser or just go without. In fact, I have not purchased crayons, markers, colored pencils or glue in my art room since implementing this strategy. I don’t think it’s fair to my family or myself to spend all kinds of extra of OUR hard earned money on my profession. How would I feel if my husband started buying desk supplies, computer software, and paper for his printer at work out of our own budget, telling me he NEEDED to. I would be annoyed… (kind of funny when the tables are turned, isn’t it?) Nurses help people, and care deeply about their patients, but they aren’t spending money on bandages and better bedding for the hospital. Sure, I will pay for a conference if my school won’t cover it, or I will buy some extra dish soap while I am running errands but I am not hitting up Dick Blick and turning over my own credit card.
I think I am the minority. Teachers are constantly reaching into their own pockets to fund art room projects.
In what other profession would an individual be asked to spend their own money just to do the basics of their job? They wouldn’t, because it would be seen as unprofessional. But unfortunately in the education world, for teachers, it’s become almost an expectation. I realize art teachers have limited budgets, our nation is in an educational financial crisis, and I also realize you really care about the students, so you do what it takes to make it happen.
I would, however, argue if you are resourceful enough, you wouldn’t have to spend your own money on supplies. I just don’t understand…. but like I said, I am “one of those oddball cheap teachers.” Because of my resourcefulness and simple, but effective art projects, I find myself with a surplus in my budget each year. Now I am able to buy fun and unique things for the art room we wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.
Do you spend a lot of your own money on your classroom supplies each year?
What are you purchasing with your own money?
Tell us more about it.