Everyone who is a teacher, was a teacher or knows a teacher, is well aware that teaching is not CHEAP! I should know. Each year I spend well over $500 to get my classroom set up and then even more throughout the year for snacks, projects, books, gifts for the kids, supplies, etc. Although our school gives us a $300 reimbursement, it just barely covers the amount the typical teacher spends.
My husband always comments that his teachers never bought him things, but times have changed. In order for me to teach to the best of my ability, I need certain items for my classroom and that includes resource books, project supplies, etc. Unless you are or have been a teacher, it's impossible to understand!
Parent donations are always greatly appreciated, but sometimes, there are things that just have to be bought. The best thing that parents can donate are basic school supplies: crayons, markers, paper, pencils, expo markers, etc. Snacks are great too! It's never fun to have to answer "sorry, there isn't any snack" when I kiddo says "I'm Hungry."
As expensive it is to be a teacher and as little as we get paid, I wouldn't trade my job for any other. I love what I do, I love the kids, and I even love the crazy days. If you know a teacher, DONATE supplies! You know you want to ;)