Teachers Preparing for School, Paying Out of Pocket

Posted at: 08/28/2013 6:53 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It is a busy and exciting time for kids all across the area as they get ready to head back to school. Buying supplies, picking out their new outfits and meeting their teachers. But it's also a big time of year for teachers.

At Bonner Elementary School in Stewartville, teachers are kicking off the school year with a faculty meeting. Eileen Weinhold is one of those teachers. She's been a 2nd Grade teacher at Bonner for 25 years.    

"It's a great profession," said Eileen.

She and her colleagues are busy getting their classrooms ready for the students, who are due to arrive next week.

"Make it warm and friendly and welcoming. So it's redecorating, and putting new things up," said Eileen.

"Get name plates on all the desks for all the kids get your books to where you want em and all those organizational things that help get the year started on the right foot," added fellow 2nd grade teacher Jeff Johnson.

Something else that's needed to get started on the right foot; supplies.

"They all come in with their new sharpened pencils and erasers and markers," said Eileen.

The teachers sometimes take on some of that cost. According to a report done by the National School Supply and Equipment Association. On average, teachers spend about $945 for classroom supplies.

"Totally. You do. It just kind of goes with the territory, you just do," said Eileen.

"I like to have snacks in my cupboards for the kids and that's something that I get out of pocket just because I think its important for the kids to have something to eat when they're here," said Johnson.

But Eileen says, while it may be a lot of money, she doesn't mind it.

"When they come in and they enjoy it and they really appreciate what you do and the parents appreciate what you do," said Eileen.

She says it's all just part of making this school year, just as good as the past 25.

"I think we're thinking all summer long what we are going to do, what we are going to change, how we are going to keep them interested, it's just, it still gives me shivers so it's a happy, happy time," said Eileen.

Most schools do give teachers a set amount of money to get supplies for their classrooms. But after that money is gone, they're on their own.