KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For Shawnee Mission School District first-grade teacher Shazon McKinney at Brookwood Elementary School, the first day of school is all about first impressions. She wants to make a great impression on her young students.
"I want to hook them, get them excited to be there," McKinney said.
She has a long shopping list that includes nametags, desk plates and new borders for dry erase markers. Some teachers spend $200 or more getting their classrooms ready.
"I'm lucky because our PTA at Brookwood supports us, and we get reimbursed for our classroom expenses, but many teachers are not so lucky," explained McKinney.
"Teachers who have to spend money out of their own pocket have to cut corners, and they won't be able to buy as much. Sometimes they have to continue using the same materials year after year," McKinney said.
She said teachers are willing to do what it takes because they want their students to be excited about coming to school and learning.
"Seeing that spark when a child notices something in the classroom--that makes it worth it," McKinney concluded.