Please talk me out of buying piles of classroom stuff(16 Posts)
I'm about to start my NQT year in September, in a 1/2 mixed class in East London. My school budget is tight, and the departing teacher told me I'd need to buy lots of books to supplement the class library, and storage boxes etc. I've raided charity shops and got a massive box of books from ebay (I think one of those charities who stop books going into landfill?).
I want to go to Ikea and stock up on child friendly bits and bobs whilst I still have the time, but is it stupid to go before term starts and I really know what I need? Obviously I haven't had any pay yet, so I could do with slowing down on the spending. DP's mum has been very generous and bought me some lovely bits. I think I'm just finding it easier to project my panicking about the start of time into shopping... I don't really need to buy lots, do I? I get to the have the last week of August in my classroom, and we start the year with double inset. Should I just wait until then and do a last minute dash?
I'm probably going to sound like a right old misery, but after years and years of spending my money on things for school, I would say just don't!
As tempting as it may be ... save your personal spending for what you need to enable you to do your job.
I find myself buying the card, paper and laminating pouches for my displays, my own white board pens, stickers & stamps, marking pens, etc. I don't buy boxes. I did buy a stack of coloured folders that I found invaluable for pre-sorting resources for each table. It all depends on how you want to run your classroom.
Please don't spend your meagre NQT salary (which you haven't received yet!) on things that you might not find to be essential. You'll have more than enough demands on your limited finances and time.
Oh, and don't forget that what you do buy is yours! When the time comes for you to move schools, you take it with you. The resources that you will lovingly create, the word banks, the displays, the titles ... it's all yours if you made it from your resources.
Without wanting to tarnish your experience, be aware that in schools with an economically-deprived intake, you may find the loss of your stuff also happens at a fair old rate too.
Don't rush and buy before the event, buy when you know what you need, and take sensible suggestions on board as well.
Thank you! Not being miseries at all, it's what I needed to hear.
Good point there from Silver! I have a batch of "return address" labels from Vistaprint with a 'please return to Mrs Ready' message. I stick them on EVERYTHING! Top tip from one of my early mentors :-)
www.vistaprint.co.uk/ Register, then keep your eyes peeled for e-mails saying when they are free
Great tip, thanks. I already have a "This book belongs to Miss Roan" for my books, and I'm armed with a variety of sharpies, but labels would make life much easier.
Now I think about it, on placement my class teacher was off for a few days and when she came back she couldn't find anything - turns out loads of her stuff had been 'borrowed' the minute her back was turned.
It is why it is also good to keep classroom kit like stapleguns and staplers, split pins, all the various coloured pens and stickers etc in a toolbox that you can lock.
In my case, with a bicycle lock around a radiator pipe.
This reminds me how times have changed - when I started teaching my HOD gave me a box full of folders, tracing paper, map drawing pens and red biros! ... but then he did expect me to draw my own maps for worksheets etc, at least now we have the internet for that sort of stuff
Agree with all the other posters. I would speak to your NQT mentor or the Head early on if there are things you need for your classroom and if they are things that are needed to do your job effectively then school should be providing them in my view.
I've found once you start resourcing your classroom from your own pocket (as I have largely always done) it's a slippery slope. However, it is nice and can be useful to have a few of your own things in your classroom from charity shops and cheap shops etc. Agree, you should label everything so you remember what's yours when you move classrooms or leave. I particularly resent buying things like paint, paper and other art supplies and things like tissues, soap etc that get used up.
Good luck with your NQT year!
Buying your own paint?!
I bought a £2 bathmat from Argos (a nice fluffy one though, not a regular towel one) to have as a rug in my reading area. My mum wanted to know why I hadn't chosen "a proper rug, like that one there?" and pointed to a £20 one. Sounds like I made the right choice!
Thanks for your support everyone.
Yes do buy things that make your life easier and take them with you when you go. For instance I bought a few calculators from Aldi at £1 as it saved so much time when students didn't have them and I can use them too. Aldi and Lidl are very cheap for stationery.
Go into school, check what is there
As a standard I would say get a few files to get organised and some pencil pots for your tables
I do have lots of my own stuff but add to it each year, cushions, throws and rugs as others have said are nice for reading areas etc - I'd just buy cheap ikea or similar
Hopefully things will have been ordered for you with regards to stationary (this is the norm in my school that staff will order for newbies too)
Good luck with your nqt year, don't go mad with spending - I need to learn some self restraint and spend my money on 10 month old ds now!!!
Also do you have a link for the books you got??
It is so easy for it to mount up; a few pounds here and there and suddenly it's a hundred. I now have a monthly limit (self-imposed) for sundries that make lessons more fun and interesting -eg paper plates - always useful!! For more expensive items I buy them myself if I think I would want to take them if I moved schools, then they are mine and are labelled as such and get taken home at the end of the year.
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