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When your schools allow you to purchase classroom supplies with the budget specifically made for English classes, what kind of items do you buy? Also, what are you told that you CAN and CANNOT purchase?

In my case, I need some ideas. I've taught at my current elementary school for nearly 3 years. I've always found myself frustrated with my English department, co-teachers, and the school administration whenever I'm asked 3-4 times a year: "what do you want to buy for your classroom?"

Each and every time I give them a small--and I mean, a genuinely miniscule--list, those in charge shoot down nearly all the items I request.

New board markers that actually write well? No.
#2 pencils? No.
Fun and colorful stickers for the students to earn? No.
The candy students receive for collecting a certain number of said stickers for their hard work and accomplishments??? NO.
I do not understand...

And trying to plan for English camp is even worse... I always have to fight/push to get the things I want or need to give my students a truly exciting camp. I'm never allowed to buy anything I want with the allotted budget for MY classes. Or most of everything I request gets substituted for something entirely different without my knowledge, because it's "cheaper." Even though I appropriately and reasonably select items that come under budget every time. And those changes to my lists always come as a surprise the day before I need what I thought had been ordered. Which forces me to completely rearrange or scrap my lessons entirely, in turn causing me unnecessary extra work and stress.

I'm rambling...ANYWAY!

If possible, I would love to know what kind of items and supplies any of you buy for your classrooms that get/keep your students engaged AND are approved by your schools/co-teachers. I'm looking at sites like iScream Mall, Gmarket, and Coupang for English classroom supplies, but I don't know where to start with purchasing great items.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I teach 3rd and 4th grade elementary.
Thank you!
Finally contributing to this site after 5 years of use. ^_^;

  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6392

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: What kind of classroom supplies does your school allow you to buy...?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2022, 02:34:41 pm »
Sound like you have a dick school. 

A real shame.  They do exist. 

I ask for candy they get it. 

I ask for white boards they get it (though since covid, I haven't used them in favor of individual sheets.) 

I ask for sandwich material for camps or special pencils I get them.  I usually don't ask for much though.  Camp bidget ran out last winter so I couldn't ask for another thing.  But that was for me and the Korean teacher.  She wanted some things too.  But that was okay.  I got some stuff but was told way in advance. 

Seems like your school is not cool.  Sorry to hear it. 

(I only give stickers once a year in winter camp and used some of my own I brought from Canada.  But they were more like participation trophies where I gave one or two to all the kids since they  were a small group.  Candies for those who got most points for a game or answered a question.  So, bought those my own money.  Dollar Store, Dollar General, Wal Mart should have cheap stickers next time you're home.  Plus something unique different from what you can buy here. 

I did order some off Amazon like several years ago when a billion won didn't get you one US dollar.  Something like 200 bulk for really cheap.  (Guess I can't do that now.)  I don't normally spend my own money but did on stickers a little (back when this salary we got paid was worth more due to less inflation.) 

Re: What kind of classroom supplies does your school allow you to buy...?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2022, 11:51:18 am »
Heck, I once had a coteacher tell all the kids how exciting the market day would be for an English camp when we had no budget.

The kids ended up being sad that they could just pick from basic supplies.

CoT: The kids are excited for market day.
Me: But you said there's no budget.
CoT: Yes, but I told them to be excited for the market day.
Me: Okay... It's not gonna be much.
CoT: But they're excited.
Me: *nods*