Tuesday marked teacher appreciation day and there's plenty to thank them for. A national survey paid for by OfficeMax said K-8th grade teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money every year to help teach our kids.
In return, Houston teachers said the kids are the number one thing making them feel appreciated.
"The smiles on the faces of the kids, hearing the kids tell you that they like this activity. Can we do this activity?" said Judith Anderson, a P.E. teacher at Almeda Elementary in Houston.
Teachers are worthy of some smiles. The study, released just in time for teacher appreciation day, said more than three out of every four elementary teachers spends an average of $623 per year, of their own money, on classroom supplies.
Anderson said it's often the only option. Over her 20-year teaching career she has spent thousands of dollars without being reimbursed.
"I started the first soccer league in the south district and I had to fund all of that, buying the balls for the soccer team, buying the nets, the chalk, the chalking machine... all that came out of my pocket," said Anderson.
Her total cost for that project alone was $2,000 dollars.
For years educators have done this without complaint. But this teacher appreciation day, Houston teachers union president Gayle Fallon said they're feeling anything but appreciated.
"They feel that no one respects them, no one appreciates them and about the only thing that keeps them going are the kids and the parents," said Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.
HISD's major budget shortfalls and layoffs have educators on edge. Fallon spent the day at meetings full of upset teachers.
"There has been a lot of teacher bashing," said Fallon. "[There's] a lot of, 'we have to get rid of the bad teachers,' rather than stressing the fact that most teachers are pretty good teachers," said Fallon.
Good teachers are the ones like Anderson, who spend their own money on things to help kids learn.
"The end result is the kids loved it... the kids loved it... that's the payoff," said Anderson of the soccer program she paid for.
In the same study that said teachers spend their own money, it also said 70 percent of teachers believe their schools are financially unable to provide necessary teaching tools.
Study: Teachers Spend Hundreds of Their Own Money on Students
A national survey paid for by OfficeMax said K-8th grade teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money every year to help teach our kids. Meanwhile, on National Teacher Appreciation Day not all teachers are feeling the love.
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