Teachers Spend How Much On Back To School Supplies?

Would you spend $468 of your own money to go to work? According to a recent survey, that is how much the average teacher will spend on back to school supplies. After sharing this information with a friend, they reminded me that teaching is not the only occupation that requires workers to pony up. If you are a mechanic, you are often required to provide and maintain your own tools. Same for a carpenter.

I’m not sure I think that is a fair comparison.

An experienced mechanic or carpenter can command high dollar based on experience and quality. They also can get overtime pay in some circumstances. I could be wrong, but it doesn’t seem to work that way for teachers. Aren’t they salaried, receiving the same pay whether they put in 40 hours or more a week? Quite often, teachers do go over the 40 hour threshold as part of their regular schedule. There are ways to earn additional income. For instance, by coaching or teaching other extra curricular activities. There are only so many hours!

Another difference that isn’t being recognized is mechanics/carpenters buy their tools and use them to make a living. It’s not uncommon for a teacher to buy supplies for a student that does not have the means to get them. Funds could also be going towards a box of tissues for the kid with a runny nose. Teachers spend their own money on any number of things to enhance the classroom, but it does not show a return in their bank account.

I’m not sure there is any lesson to be learned here. Just putting the question out there. Would you spend $468 of your own money on supplies to go to work?


Jim Daniels

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