School supply shopping: It's expensive for teachers, too - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

School supply shopping: It's expensive for teachers, too


East Texas parents are stocking up on school supplies, but they are not the only ones. While they are sure to drop a pretty penny on pencils, pens, paper and binders, teachers are doing the exact same thing. However, their supply list is filled with many school items that don't come to mind when you think of the average shopping trip for school supplies.

"Posters... anything that I can hang up in my classroom as far as kindergarten level," says Gracie Brown.

After teaching older students for the last few years, Gracie is starting from scratch.

"It's kind of fun though because it's so bright in kindergarten," says Gracie.

She is also shopping for journals for her students. They will bring their own supplies like crayons, but she'll need to buy more of those as well.

"Especially with kindergarten. The last time I taught kindergarten, in the first week [crayons] were broken, the little paper wrappers were peeled off. Yes, they go through them," she says.

"They do. Some [students] are disorganized so they lose their things. If they need a certain crayon or pen or pencil, and sometimes they've lost it, you do always try to have things of your own that you can resupply them," says Laurie Dawkins, a Texas History teacher at The Brook Hill School.

Laurie is refreshing her classroom too.

"Your bulletin boards have faded. Your papers and your books are a little frayed," says Laurie.

Stamps and stickers for a job well done and even calendars that teach younger students the days of the week are just the beginning of what teachers must stock up on for a successful school year.

"I also try to have a supply of extra pencils and dry erase markers and dry erasers for the dry erase board. Those things run out and it's sometimes hard to get the students to remember to restock their supplies," says Laurie.

To some parents' surprise, many school supply lists ask for tissues, paper towels and hand sanitizer. Teachers shopping Wednesday said students burn through those items fast.

"I think a lot of us do spend our own money and we don't mind because we want our students to be successful," Laurie says.

Teachers say students are successful learners when they feel comfortable, and some of that comfort inevitably comes at a cost for teachers and parents, alike.

Some of the teachers we spoke with Wednesday said their school districts do reimburse them when they spend their own money on supplies that they won't get to keep. However, others said their districts do not.

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