Teachers spend hundreds on classroom decor, supplies

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Many teachers find creative ways to fix up their classrooms before the start of a school year.

“I know a lot of teachers who try to hit as many garage sales in the summer as they can,” instructional coach Angela Morris says. “They’ll set up GoFundMe sites. Some just put stuff out on social media and ask their friends for help.”

It’s a lot of time and energy, and Morris says it’s all to soften the blow to their own pockets. A 2018 Department of Education survey found that nearly all public school teachers spend their own money on school supplies. More often than not, they aren’t reimbursed. On average that spending added up to just under $500 a year.

“I would say more. I know a lot of teachers, they want the classroom to be a space where the children feel homey, kind of welcomed and safe,” Morris says. “So you can’t have a stark classroom. You need it to definitely bring that home environment into the classroom.”

Morris says everything down to the lighting and even the furniture makes a difference in the classroom.

“[Teachers] will bring in comfortable seating for the children, whether it be bean bags, comfortable chairs that they’ve made, some do-it-yourself kind of things. They bring in real artwork, pictures that they’ve purchased or done themselves.”

But they don’t plan to spare any expense to create just the right environment.

Morris also said there are a lot of ways families can ease the workload for teachers–like buying supplies and decorations or even volunteering to help set up the classrooms.

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