View Mobile Site
Text Size: Smaller Larger Normal

What keeps teachers from staying in the field might surprise you

What keeps teachers from staying in the field might surprise you

Public school teachers encourage students to dig deep when learning class curriculum, but it turns out, educators must also dig deep into their own wallets to purchase supplies as school starts back up each year.


POSTED August 27, 2015 8:09 a.m.
Share on Facebook Bookmark and Share
Public school teachers encourage students to dig deep when learning class curriculum, but it turns out, educators must also dig deep into their own wallets to purchase supplies as school starts back up each year.

Teachers at U.S. public schools spent $1.6 billion of their own money on classroom supplies in 2012, an average of $500 per teacher, according to Upworthy.

Suzanne Perez Tobias of The Wichita Eagle reported that David Lazell, a fourth-grade teacher in Wichita, Kansas, knew of the struggle he'd have when preparing his classroom for the school year.

Still, even after a yard sale, Lazell was short on the necessary supplies, Tobias wrote.

“I was starting from scratch, so I did a lot of garage-saling,” Lazell told The Wichita Eagle. “Other teachers were kind enough to donate books and games and other things. But I needed even more than I thought.”

That's when Project Teacher stepped in, an initiative that "served nearly 500 teachers in the Wichita area last year, impacting more than 10,000 students," according to Kansas State Network.

Evan Porter of Upworthy wrote that Project Teacher provides supplies for free and focuses on doing so all year long — not just in August when educators first need to equip their classrooms.

And giving educators that support alleviates financial worries many teachers have, Project Teacher director Terry Johnson told The Wichita Eagle.

According to The Wichita Eagle, the initiative has provided about $150,000 worth of supplies to those 500 teachers despite just modest goals at first.

“Going into it, we didn’t know what to expect. We thought maybe we could help one or two schools," Johnson said. “But it grew a lot quicker than we ever anticipated. Teachers have been extremely grateful when they’re trying to prepare their classroom and realize they can get a couple thousand dollars worth of supplies that they didn’t have to spend a dime on.”

Upworthy's article stated the initiative's goals center around more than "making sure kids have markers and Kleenex."

About half of teachers leave the field between their first five to three years, according to Upworthy.

Johnson told Upworthy when young, passionate teachers bail on education, it harms children in low-income areas.

"If a kid can go through all 12 years of education and have an amazing experience, there's a really good chance that the cycle of poverty in their family could break," Johnson said. "If we can equip teachers to enjoy their job, so that they're excited about it, that rubs off on the students."

Teachers in areas that lack support similar to Project Teacher's are brainstorming other ways to secure supplies with a smaller financial burden.

According to KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Megan Hurt, reading teacher at Freedom Elementary School, struggled to manage the out-of-pocket expenses for her class room.

So six years ago, she took a different approach, starting a crowdfunding project at donorschoose.org that raised more than $5,000, KJRH-TV reported.

Hurt said communities care about education; in addition, as a community donates funds through a website like donorschoose.org, children see those around them investing in their education.

"It really shows your students gratitude, and reading, and how much the community cares about their learning," Hurt told KJRH-TV.

KJRH-TV reported Hurt's crowdfunding grew so popular TV actress Mindy Kaling donated to it.
Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...