Op-eds and Articles

Langhorne for The 74, “Taking Away $250 Tax Deduction for School Supplies Speaks Volumes About How We Value Teachers”

By / 11.15.2017

When I was a teacher, I didn’t have a “cute” classroom. My colleague upstairs designed a reading space for students, complete with comfortable seats, a special carpet, and twinkle lights.

I was lucky if my posters stayed on the wall (which, often they didn’t because of the school’s erratic temperature changes).

Regardless, most students loved my class as much as they loved my colleague’s. I think they actually developed an affectionate spot for the chaos of the room. Some generously told me that it mirrored the personality of my energetic teaching.

Despite outward appearances, both my colleague and I spent hundreds of our own dollars, as well a lot of our free time, to make our classes fun and welcoming places where students wanted to go to learn.

My colleague’s expenses were obvious. She created a place where children want to go to read. That’s money well spent.

My expenses weren’t so obvious. You couldn’t tell from looking around my classroom, but it was also money well spent. No amount of colorful paper or pretty lights would have helped me keep a tidy and cute classroom, but I too purchased things to keep my students engaged in learning. These were my hidden costs of teaching.

 

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