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Home : 2004 : Aug : 17

    My advice
    By Tricia

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    My advice to you is this: don't buy anything until you sign a contract. The reason I say this is because like you I began buying stuff when I was in school. By the time I graduated, 2002, my home was stuffed! I had two Office Max 4 drawer cabinets stuffed with just about any book you can think of! And the RubberMaid containers! I also had two bulletin board boxes stuffed with the best sets that were laminated and ready to hang! I had all kinds of stuff to organize and the manipulatives! What I am saying, is that I spent thousands of dollars on stuff for my classroom throughout the last two years of school and the four years since I graduated. After all, I would soon get that much anticipated classroom! I finally got my own room last year in middle school, I am k-4, and so couldn't use any of the stuff collected, but that was ok because I knew middle school wasn't a place I would stay and just took it to get my foot in the door. So, I spent a few hundred dollars outfitting my middle school classroom and just knew I would use all that elementary stuff soon! Well, this year I got an elementary job, my old principal called the new district and gave a very bad rec after assuring me I had done a good job and he would tell anyone that called just that, so now I can't teach at all! So, here sat all that stuff and I know I won't be using it ever even though I want to teach badly. So, I had a yard sale and made just under a thousand, which is one-third of what that stuff cost and still have more to sale (hopefully in a few weeks). What I am trying to say, is don't spend your money on stuff you may never use! The internet has so much that is free and easy to get to. If I collected only one thing I would say it would be the monthly theme books and when I got hired I would purchase one of the grade specific superbooks by Mail Box. Other than that, just search the web, make stuff required for classes, and keep a journal of ideas to use for when you get that first job! I would even put $20.00 aside here and there in a special place so that once you have signed that contract you can determine what you need, make a list specific to what you will be teaching, then go shopping and buy it all! And please, while you are still in college, why not take a few classes that can be used as backup for while you wait for that first classroom or if things go badly? Don't make my mistake and place all your eggs in one basket! I have 4 unemployment checks left and still haven't figured out what I can do that will make at least what I earned as a teacher! I just pray I can get an extension so that I can take a bit more time to find something that pays well, or maybe the principal at the middle school will do the right thing and do as he promised so I can get a teaching job again, otherwise my career in education is over...permanently. I keep hoping as I moving back and forth between anger and crying. It is hard to let go og something I spent so many years preparing for and dreaming about. But, realistically, I am 43 years old and so need to get something where I can build retirement. Think about what I said and please don't spend lots of money on stuff you may not even need because you could walk into a classroom that has tons of stuff left behind by a retired teacher! Wouldn't that be fun!

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