I received a message from a concerned teacher about money worries and having to spend so much of her own money on resources and classroom essentials. This post will offer some tips and ideas which might help.
In most schools, children pay a contribution each year towards photocopying, art supplies etc. This money is then usually divided up and each teacher gets 6/8 euro per child towards art supplies. This money is needed to buy paint, paintbrushes, palettes, glue, hessian, fabric, paper, card, scissors, clay etc. Unfortunately this money is not usually enough to cover everything.
On the other hand, some schools provide all the art materials and teachers do not get an individual budget.
Usually you can buy things in bulk from Education Supply Companies – especially paint, packs of card/paper, glue etc. – try to pair up with another teacher and then share the supplies.
Use discount shops like Mr. Price where you can get great deals on art supplies.
There was a lack of good books available in my library so I’ve been searching for good deals on books during the summer. My best deals were in Charity Shops where I got books for between 50c and 1 euro each – I was lucky enough to get 3 for 1 euro in one shop. Unfortunately this does involve spending a considerable amount of time trawling through old books searching for books which are suitable and in good condition. Alternatively you can get books from Amazon/Ebay – I just got 16 Michael Morpurgo books for 7.59 on Amazon.
Stationery can be extremely expensive. It can be tempting to buy cheap stationery from Dealz or 2 euro shops – unfortunately the quality can often be very poor with some not working at all. As much as possible I try to buy good quality supplies when they are on offer. For example I got my sharpies from easons for 12.99. (They were 25 in tesco today). Ive lost count of the amount of packs of permanent markers I’ve bought for 1/2 euro that have ended up in the bin due to running out of ink (within days) and just not working.
Stocking up on items for your prize box is another expense. For this woodies diy often have packs of pencils or toys for between 2 and 5 euro. As well as that you can get good sets or rubbers or pencils from 2 euro shops or dealz etc. jellies or sweets can also be a good option (but may go against a healthy eating school policy).
Alternatively you can use non material rewards like choose your seat/ partner/ a job/ warm up game for pe/ be first in the line/ get a certificate/ phone call or note home.
Overall, if you need something for your classroom – try to source it second hand (there might be another teacher who no longer wants/needs the item), share the cost with a colleague and speak to the principal about the product (they may be willing to invest!)