Teacher Expenses Are Higher Than Ever with Remote Learning


Teacher Expenses Are Higher Than Ever with Remote Learning

“Well, at least teachers don’t have to spend as much of their own money on school supplies this year if they’re teaching online,” mused a pair of ladies waiting for their Starbucks orders. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth for many teachers. Teacher expenses are higher than ever due to remote teaching. Teachers are used to spending their own money on supplies, but technology expenses add up in a whole new way. On top of the extra expenses, many teachers are bringing home less money due to education budget cuts.  

Creating a space to teach at home is not cheap.

Most teachers don’t have an office space at home. They had to move stuff around to make space, then purchase a desk and chair just to start. Then they needed storage space for all of their files, books, and supplies. They bought whiteboards and markers for teaching. Many also bought wall backgrounds or decorations to try to make their space look more like a classroom and less like a corner of their dining room. Some teachers even needed to purchase screens or partitions to create a separate space for themselves because their partners are also working from home and their own children are doing school at home. 

Technology expenses add up fast. 

Many schools aren’t allowing teachers to bring technology home. Teachers have had to buy or upgrade computers. Many have invested in faster computers with more storage space to accommodate the demands of online teaching and having a million tabs open at once. Larger monitors to see their students better have been a common purchase. Many teachers have bought additional screens so they can teach on one and still see their students on the other. Faster and upgraded internet plans have been essential for a lot of teachers, easily adding a $100 or more to the monthly bill in some cases – and no, most schools aren’t helping teachers pay the bill. Other common teacher expenses include:

  • Printers/ink
  • Digital pens and stylus
  • HDMI cable
  • USB port extender
  • Webcam
  • Cell phone/tablet holder
  • Extension cord
  • Surge protector
  • Document camera
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Headphones
  • Microphone
  • Bluelight glasses
  • Wifi extender
  • More/better lighting

There is no tech support at home.

Teachers are on their own to figure out any technical problems. Many are forced to drop big bucks with Geek Squad and other services. Since they don’t have the luxury to wait for a computer to be fixed, many teachers have maxed out credit cards and drained savings accounts buying new devices.

There are so many subscription fees. 

There are hundreds of great apps and online subscriptions that make teaching more effective. They also make learning more engaging for students. However, most of those cost money and few are paid for by school districts. Teachers are spending small fortunes this year on subscriptions to to help students learn and feel some sort of normalcy remotely. 

“I spent my summer taking online classes through my school district to prepare for distance learning. Every class recommended a piece of equipment or a subscription that I would have to personally pay for. I hope parents understand that teachers with more available cash will be able to have all the bells and whistles. Many of us just can’t afford all the extra expenses.”

Jennifer, California teacher

Teachers are on their own for all supplies. 

There’s no supply closet or other teachers to borrow from. They had to buy pens, paper, folders, stapler, staples, post-its, notecards, etc. for home. It might not sound like much, but all of those necessities add up fast. 

Want to help out with teacher expenses? Gift cards are the best way! Amazon, Walmart, and Target are all great options. Restaurants and meal delivery services like Doordash are also very helpful. Consider purchasing a gift card for a teacher you know (or even one you don’t!). Add an encouraging note and you’ve made someone’s day a whole lot better!

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Teacher Expenses Are Higher Than Ever with Remote Learning

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She’s been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga.
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