Every year, people ask me tons of questions to get insight into what it is like to be a teacher. For instance, this includes, “How has classroom management changed over time?” Likewise, I am often asked, “How hard is it to teach students at so many different learning levels?” However, the top question is, “Why do I spend so much time and money on school and my classroom?”
I honestly cannot tell you how many times I have answered this question. It is A LOT! Some people just want to know. Others do not understand why I spend so much time and money when teachers often make so little. So, here is exactly why I do not hesitate to make a needed purchase or put in extra hours each week.
#1: Extra Income Source
Part of the reason I continue to run my Engaging Early Learners TPT store is so that I have the extra income. This side hustle allows me to compensate for what I spend on my classroom. Honestly, this is a huge reason why I can spend extra money and time.
#2: Home Away from Home
My classroom is my home away from home. My students and I spend most of our day there. I want it to be my happy place. Likewise, I want students to be excited to come back each day.
#3: Quality Products
Yes, I can make my classroom look nice with much less STUFF! However, I like to have nicer, cuter things that will last long. I want the best materials and systems to help everything stay organized and make my job just a little easier. So, instead of constantly having to replace what I use, I prefer just to buy high-quality items.
#4: It Makes Me Happy!
In a world filled with stress, it is important to do what makes you happy. While making my space beautiful and comfortable is mostly about my students, it is also FOR ME! Since I like to feel good and at peace in my classroom, I like the space to look just right. I give so much of myself to my little ones and my school every day, so the room should also give back to me.
#5: Endless Joy
When I walk into my classroom, I feel joy. Every. Single. Day! Isn’t that how teaching should be? This feeling makes every dollar and minute worth it.
#6: Teaching is my Passion
As far as spending money on materials for my students…I love to do it! Why? Because it helps them thrive and enjoy learning. When they thrive and enjoy learning, I thrive! Since teaching is my passion, I’ll do anything I can to help students.
#7: Living in the Moment
Realistically, I will not be able to spend money on my classroom like this forever. Eventually, I will have a family and other obligations, but right now I don’t. My students are like my family, so why not spoil them!?
#8: Extra Time Works for Me
People often do not understand why I go in early or stay late. However, I don’t have a family to rush home to yet. So, why not take that extra time so that I am not thinking about what I have to do once I leave? While I will not always have this spare time, I do now. I want to take advantage of it while I have it.
The short of the long is that doing all these things helps me be the best teacher and helps me ENJOY MY JOB. So many teachers are feeling burnt out and leaving the profession because the joy is no longer there. Since I love what I do, I’d say I will keep doing what I am doing for now…
P.S. None of the cute and fun things are NECESSARY. So if you are a 1st-year teacher, don’t stress. This is 6 years worth of stuff. 😉