Sunday, August 20, 2006

School supplies: a different perspective

Parents get ready for school by buying school supplies, on sale if they can, and helping their children name-label and organize everything.
Teachers get ready for school by buying school supplies, on sale if they can, and name-labeling and organizing everything. I started two weeks ago; classes start after Labor Day.
First, I started reading the sale ads. When the local drugstore had their big one, it was time to spring into action. I clipped the coupons and bought: mini-notebooks for rewards, rulers and scissors for kids who lose theirs or don’t own a pair, a memo book for my own records, and more. In fact, I picked up multiple copies of their flyer and went to three other locations to stock up on the 30 cent rulers and 6/$1 mini-notebooks so I would have enough for the whole class. I sure hope it was worth the gas I spent!
Next, I watched for the annual office supply store’s annual sale bag. Everything I could fit in the bag was 15% off. I procured another from an anonymous source, and then I filled one with classroom supplies and La Petite filled one with things we needed at home. I got a great deal on spiral steno notebooks, good ballpoint pens, and sticky notes for reading class. And again, I found scissors on sale to add to my classroom stash.
In teaching, we call this provisioning. It means making sure every child has all the necessary supplies to learn. Our PTA helps out. I’ll be reimbursed for the reading supplies from our school budget. The rest? It’s on me. I don’t mind buying for kids who really need supplies; that’s why I stock up in August on the cheap. I do mind parents who can buy, but don’t. And I’ll tell you straight out, most parents will find a way to get what their children need or ask for assistance. It’s only a few that get under my skin at times. So to the rest of you: thanks! You take good care of your children and we teachers love you for it. Together, we help your children succeed.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Merry Mama said...

Interesting you should bring this up. I had a major crying jag today, based on what??? Getting my kids ready for school. Now this time, I am homeschooling three, yes. But if I wasn't? Forty dollars times five just for pencils, paper, etc. (Yes, on sale, yes cheepest, yes we try to save last year's leftovers. Unfortunately, my kids love to play school, so they don't last around here.)

Clothing?? Uhm. If I was not going to be cheap? Two hundred with shoes and socks for each kid. Since I am cheap? Whoever needs the clothes most/and/put on layaway/and go without/and share socks/and whatever...Thriftshop??

I'm so glad the girls are home this year. The two middle ones gave me hell over clothing issues last year, because we recycle and do handme downs and apparently they either got mocked for it, or led me to believe they were mocked for it. The first born I have witnessed being picked on for her clothing, but she never complained (knowing how hard it is on me) and put up with the cruelty.

We are breaking the bank, our credit cards are soaring and my depression is back. My husband, so sweet says "It's just money. It's okay." Even though I know when he gets the bill, he'll be feeling pretty bad. I've prayed to God.. I just don't know. And then reading this, I am soo glad my kids don't just show up without any. I would hate for the teachers to supply them. That's too humiliating (besides being wrong.)

8/20/2006 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8/21/2006 12:27 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

I really appreciate your perspective. It is tough on kids to use old supplies and wear hand-me-downs. I'm glad to have resources I can go to so that my students can have new pencils and folders if they need them.

8/21/2006 11:54 AM  
Blogger Merry Mama said...

Thanks for YOUR perspective. That really helped me to get a grip. It's okay to shop second hand.. I know it, but somehow I keep letting other people change my mind. I want my husband to be happy and not under so much pressure.

You really have a good handle on life. I need to read you more often.

8/22/2006 6:54 PM  

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