The Budget

My teaching career began as an elementary school Industrial Arts teacher. Being a shop teacher was a great job! But, after seventeen years, the school board I worked for decided to eliminate the shops and family studies elementary programs; probably because the program was too expensive.

Fortunately, our board gave the shop and family studies teachers a year to make the transition to becoming classroom teachers so I took advantage of the time to design my own classroom. I had a shop to work in and I had accumulated  a lot of extra building material to make the tables, cabinets and incidentals that I thought I would need. It was an enjoyable experience both designing and constructing.

After making the necessary items in the spring and setting up my new classroom through the summer, I started my new teaching career as a grade five classroom teacher. To say the least, an interesting experience, and in the end, a good move for me. I needed a change.

But one thing that took me by surprise was how little money I had to run my classroom. As a tech teacher I had a generous capital and consumable  budget. As a classroom teacher, a minuscule budget. What was I going to do?

The photo below is a good illustration of part of the solution. 
The Raffle: The raffle was a way of  raising money to buy materials for my class and it also was a way to discuss, with my students, how to start a  business. I held three a year; one on Halloween, one before Christmas and one before fathers day.  Most of the raffles were coordinated with a bake-sale. The  home-baked items were baked by my student's parents and raised a lot of money for my class.

Every year, approximately a month before Mother's Day, we designed and made a mass production project. I felt it was very important to give my students an idea of what it was like to work on a mass production line. We  produced, as a group, a large quantity  of a standardized product. We also had a hierarchy of positions within the company we formed such as managers, inspectors and workers. It became one of my favorite activities.

Here is a practical guide to raising money yourself:

If you interested in bringing technology to your classroom start a group. As technology teachers we gathered together several times a year trading tips and projects. It was very useful and a lot of fun! You can do the same.

Finally, before you start purchasing capital equipment make sure you read my Important Information section.