When the United States slashed budgets, the nation's teachers paid for their own art supplies. They volunteer to supervise the senior dance, and yes, they spend their evenings grading papers and answering emails from parents.
But weapons training?
"We're already asked to wear too many hats throughout the course of the day," said Christine Campbell, a high school chemistry teacher in Wilmington, Delaware. "Teachers are outraged by this."
They should be.
The proposals by President Donald Trump, the National Rifle Association and some lawmakers to arm teachers as a solution to the sick epidemic of school shootings in the US is preposterous. And it's a transparent effort to stave off the common-sense gun control measures being pushed by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived a horrifying mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, last week.
"I am a combat veteran of the war in Vietnam," a teacher from Pennsylvania who retired after 32 years in the classroom wrote to me. He is a guy who understands how a human head responds when it is targeted by M-16 automatic rifles, M-14s, M-60 machine guns, .45 calibre pistols and .38 calibre pistols. "With that in mind ... I would NEVER carry a weapon into a classroom. EVER."
The politicians who have been bought by the NRA want to train teachers to carry arms in classrooms - though Trump was quick to tweet that he meant only about 20 per cent of teachers with "military or special training experience" who could "immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions".
In Washington, there are multiple police forces trained to carry weapons. So I went to someone who does this for a living, a retired law enforcement officer who once trained a large force of armed officers. I can't use his name or the agency he worked for. But this is the nation's capital, so you know I'm not talking to the sheriff of Hicksville and his four deputies.
"It's not as simple as just putting a pistol in a school," he said. "There are enormous issues."
First, it takes at least 100 hours of work before an officer who is trained to use weapons in crisis situations is ready for action. This goes beyond a gun, bullets and a paper target, the trainer said.
"The building blocks to put a round [of ammo] on a threat - we don't call them a target, we call them a threat - involve sight, the [entire scene], breathing," he said. "When we give our officers and agents guns, every situation [he or she] is in is a shoot-or-don't-shoot situation."
It's not just target practice. It's about assessing the scene and knowing whether it's really a situation that calls for gunfire.
That is a complex and sensitive issue that law enforcement officers across the nation have wrangled with for ages.
Classrooms can be chaotic. And in many school shootings, it's a student who is the shooter. What about a child running for cover? What about a student who starts acting up in the middle of class? We are asking a lot of teachers in such a frenetic scenario.
Campbell, the chemistry teacher, said she talked to her students about it. They said they wouldn't feel comfortable in a school full of armed adults. "Like those airports in Third-World countries where you see them standing around with guns out in the open," she said.
Our retired weapons trainer said he had a whole team of folks who did nothing but service and maintain weapons.
If we decide to dole out the money to arm some teachers - around US$600 ($823) to US$700 for the average service weapon and around US$10 for a box of ammo - who will be responsible for the maintenance?
"At this rate firearms purchases and money spent on training will soon become tax deductible for educators," said a frustrated Lester Green, music teacher at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Northwest Washington. "Do we also get to write off Kevlar vests?" He'd leave teaching before carrying a weapon. So did the other two teachers I interviewed.
Some police departments require their officers to renew their training and requalify on the range every year. Elite forces may require quarterly or even monthly training. What will it be for teachers?
All parents are familiar with the "professional development day" thing, when kids get random days off from school so their teachers can learn new curriculum and policies. Now will they add days off to go to the shooting range?
And then there is storage. Law enforcement agencies have sophisticated, temperature-controlled and heavily fortified storage facilities.
Schools that can't keep kids from hacking into grading systems may have to find a way to safely store a small arsenal.
Or will teachers be asked to take their service weapons home every night?
"Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence. Our students need more books, art and music programmes, nurses and school counsellors; they do not need more guns in their classrooms," said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the union that represents three million people.
"Parents and educators overwhelmingly reject the idea of arming school staff. Educators need to be focused on teaching our students," she said.