Tuesday was the first official day of school for Bay County teachers. But many teachers have been on campus for weeks, getting a head start on setting up their home away from home: their classrooms.
The halls and classrooms at Cedar Grove Elementary were full of teachers painting, cleaning and decorating Wednesday as they prepare for students to walk through the door Monday morning.
Many teachers describe it as setting up a new home so you can imagine the costs associated. Aside from a small stipend from the state, teachers dip into their own pockets to outfit their rooms and students with supplies.
“It is like re-decorating a house, really and truly. So my house never gets decorated. I spend all my money on my classroom,” said Denise Simonson, 4th grade teacher at Cedar Grove Elementary.
"i will give my kids whatever they need whether it's out of my own pocket or not," said Kindergarten Autism Teacher, Lisa Libby.
The stipend teachers receive to cover classroom costs is called "teacher lead" money. The amount varies every year but the state usually gives each teacher anywhere from $100 to $275 dollars each year.
Cedar Grove Elementary will host a "move-in day" for it's students Friday. It's a meet and greet for parents, teachers and students. Check with your child's school to see if they are hosting an open-house before Monday.