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16 Classroom Supplies You Won't Believe Teachers Have To Pay For

Each year, public school teachers spend upwards of $500 of their own wages on supplies for their classrooms.

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BuzzFeed asked teachers which supplies they spend the most on out of pocket. Here's what they had to say:

1. Tissues. Gesundheit. / Via

Your child's teacher has saved your family from 100,000 colds without you ever knowing.

According to Arizona Elementary School teacher Andi Katz, the items she buys and burns through the most frequently are “tissues, antibacterial wipes, glue sticks and regular, crayons, tissues and wipes, markers, scissors, construction paper, tissues and wipes, lined paper, pencils, and did I say tissues and wipes?”

2. Photocopies for worksheets, projects, and notices.

Take some initiative and consider rallying other parents to donate a few bucks each for a photo copy fund for the class before your kid's teacher goes all Office Space.


4. Pencils. No. 2, and otherwise.

Flickr: minnellium

Because pencils are totally frivolous, right? Oh, wait... no they're not.

According to secondary school teacher Kate Sluiter, "Everything in my classroom is out of pocket minus the $100 the district pays for."


9. Snacks and prizes!

Keep your kiddo's class in mind the next time you make a Costco run.

Brianna Chenevey, an elementary school teacher in Northern California, suggests "things like glue sticks, emergency snacks, a box of Kleenex, and hand soap/sanitizer" as donations. "You can never have too much of that stuff."

11. Up-to-date maps and other visual aides.

Look around your child's classroom. Large items like geopolitically correct maps and photographs of current world leaders often go without updating when budgets are short.


To see what kinds of donations teachers in your area are requesting and help the classroom of your choice, visit