Books in School Classrooms


Photo Credit: Apples for Your Eye

School is just now beginning for most of the country, and with the start of a new school year comes the start of many new careers in teaching. More than 500 new teachers are starting this year in my former school district and many of these new teachers face similar challenges. But one that I’ve happened to see article after article written about is the struggles that come with trying to have a small assortment of books within the classroom. I’m not talking textbooks or workbooks, I’m talking books.  Books for the students to read.

I am fully aware that there are new teachers starting out this year that don’t teach English or ELA at all who may not have as many books in their classrooms, but I can remember just about every elementary school teacher I had having some books in the classroom. And my future English teachers in middle and high school definitely did. But let’s be real, new teachers have limited resources to outfit their classrooms with the proper supplies needed for their students. Especially books. Teachers are now utilizing crowdfunding websites for this specific purpose. Most I’ve read about are attempting to raise $500-$900 for supplies for their classrooms. This is for ALL supplies, but think about how much it would cost just to buy maybe 30 books, which isn’t many.

There’s an organization in my area that provides new teachers with $100 for supplies, but we all know they need a bit more than that. This is where you likely expect me to tell you about a new teacher I know personally who could really use your help this new school year. I’m not going to ask you to give your money away, nor should you feel obligated to do so. But I will say that I think it’s great seeing so many new and longtime teachers going to such lengths to get books in the classroom, because a classroom without books seems inadequate. I would be surprised if you disagree.

13 thoughts on “Books in School Classrooms

  1. It’s nice to hear of teachers going that extra mile for their students, but it’s a shame they have to go to those lengths to get adequate supplies. I love teachers. Many of my friends are teachers and it’s amazing the sacrifices they make so their students can learn.


  2. I taught 6th grade Language Arts for several years and managed to build a nice little classroom lending library. I bought used books at yard sales and at the public library when they had sales. Most of the time I paid only a quarter or fifty cents for each book. Through Ebay, I made friends with a couple who had a used book store. From time to time they would send me boxes of discarded books. Some were unsuitable, but there were always appropriate books at different reading levels and several classics. I left my book collection behind when I retired, and hopefully, the students still enjoyed the books for a long time.


  3. I had a teacher who had a fake double-decker bus in the corner of the classroom which, if I remember correctly, had books lined against the sides of the interior. The bus was basically a little library kids could go into and grab a book from.


  4. My son’s teachers keeps dozens of books in her classroom, and the school uses a program through scholastic books to help obtain more books for teachers. Our PTA always rewards students with gift cash to use for the purchase of a book at the semester book fair.


  5. WHAT. Is this America? I’m Australian, and so everything teachers had in classrooms were provided by the school. Teachers and School librarians also get a discount when buying books. This sounds terrible! I’ve heard teachers in America don’t get paid enough but I had no idea it was this bad! Teachers in my high school were given iPhones and MacBooks for work! Have you bought books online? is very good with prices, although, it still is expensive for you guys to be forking out money from your own pockets for a class of kids.


  6. My mom is a kindergarten teacher and once my siblings and I outgrew our “childish” books, she would ask us if we would like to donate them to her class. When teachers retire, if their books are kinder reading level appropriate, she would ask if she could have them, or if she sees a good book in a store like Book-Off, she wouldn’t mind spending a little bit on it.

    I must say, after seeing my mom teach for so many year and how much they sacrifice, I had a new appreciation for all that they do “behind the scenes.”

    The budget they are allotted a year surprises me because that;s hardly enough to get the necessities, and you’re basically asking a teacher to decide what is more important and pick and choose what they can and can’t have. Unfortunately, sometimes reading and books get pushed to the back burner because the class really needs the right tools for something else and it becomes the thinking of “well, I guess I have enough books for now…”

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