Monday, July 21, 2014

School Supplies

Every year around mid July I dread going to Wal-Mart...not because of the crowds or costs...its because of the releasing of the school supplies.  No matter how much I try & avoid those aisles...I as a teacher find myself purchasing supplies I personally need & while I am there I get to hear the ultimate school/teacher/state bashing  of the school supply list.  SO this year I decided to write a blog to "explain" the dreadful list that teachers make in order to make every parent in America hate us. So I will go over my list that I generally send home each year....

  • 8 boxes of crayons.... I ask for this many crayons because I love to color & I need them to use in my free time.... ok seriously...why 8 you ask???  I teach 5 year olds. Do you have one...if so...give them a bag with a box of crayons in it. Let them be responsible for that bag of crayons for 30 days. Make them use them for 30 days....... 30 days later.... look at them.....most of them will be missing or broken or peeled or chewed up or even worse covered in horrible germs!! Kids need to get fresh crayons at the beginning of every month. As they get older they will learn to take better care of their supplies, but as a 5 year old...they need new...every month.
  •  25 glue sticks.... this sounds like an insane number...I craft a lot in my classroom. Its fun..its what they love to do...we try & glue something everyday! Sometimes your 5 year old will get a little wild and use 1 entire glue stick on one craft.... I try my best to be patient & not get upset & not fuss...because we have more...because you sent them... and there is no use in crying over wasted glue... lots of crafts...lots of glue...lots of fun....  I DO NOT hoard glue sticks in my home....
  • 1 bottle of liquid glue- we use it..on occasion...glue sticks don't hold everything.
  • 1 pack of pencils( not decorative)  - kids need pencils to write & decorative pencils tear up our pencil sharpeners
  • fiscar scissors- kids cut- I specify a brand because they cut well & your child won't cry because everytime they try & cut the cheap scissors get caught & tear the paper
  • 2 packs of crayola markers- again..I do not color at home. They need 2 packs because kids NEVER remember to snap their lids & markers dry out quickly!
  • 1 nap mat...blue & red-  we rest...they need somewhere to lay... I cannot store the big blue & green ones becaue they are too large & we require plastic to avoid your child getting head lice & they are easy to spray with Lysol to avoid germs
  • paper towels...kids spill things..DAILY.... 20 kids spill things DAILY
  • kleenex- kids have runny noses and wiggly teeth...tissues solve both of these problems....no kleenex means they use their shirt....
  • wet wipes...again I do not take these home to use for my baby....kids are MESSY...they come in from breakfast with syrup! They get paint EVERYWHERE.... they sling their lunchbox & a juicebox burst open & then they drag it all over the classroom before they realize sticky juice has now covered the floor...wet wipes solve all of these problems....
  • 1 zipper pouch...these hold crayons in their seat sack
  • colored copy paper- used for crafts & memory books
  • colored card stock...used for crafts
  • white cardstock.... used for crafts & memory books
  • backpack- self explanatory
  • dry-erase markers.... your child uses thse during whole group interactive lessons & in small groups on white boards. They also use them in literacy stations. And every child ruins about 2 every year until they realize you cannot bear down on the EXPO marker tip... so 2/4 pack are ruined by September!
  • white copy paper- the school does not provide copy paper...this is a MUST...
  • zip lock bags- these are used to bring home small readers..or pulled teeth...or home-made playdough...or leftover special snack...or and the list goes on & on & on...
  • 1 binder- this is used as your child's memory book.  
  • headphones- we go to computer lab 2 times a week. the school cannot purchase headphones because we do not receive technology funding.

  • clorox wipes.... 20 children....snotty noses...strep...unwashed hands...etc ...we clorox wipe tables DAILY!!!!! sometimes 2 times a day during flu season....
  • 2 plastic folders- paper ones tear up in a week...we use these for different journals
  • 1 pack of white t-shirts....we paint precious field trip t-shirts...they are cute & sweet & special
  • cap erasers- a pencil can last a week or 2...an eraser lasts usually about 2 days.... without  erasers we would have to purchase more pencils...erasers are cheaper
  • page protectors....I use these for your memory book. It holds your childs artwork & pictures that represent their kindergarten year....its priceless... I will cherish Cole's book always!
  • liquid soap refills..... the school does not have enough funding to purchase soap for the bathrooms...I for one am more than happy to purchase soap so that children who go to school with my son can wash their hands everytime the use the bathroom!
  • white paper plates- these are used for crafts
  • hot glue gun sticks- crafts
  • shaving cream.....ask your five year old to write on paper over & over again...see how they react...put shaving cream on a table & ask them to write...it will explain everything.... make learning FUN!
I hope this explains some of what we ask for... we aren't monsters... we don't try & make your life miserable every August by making you purchase these things. We don't ask for supplies so we can hoard them in our personal homes...  I hate it too...I wish school was free...its not.  Education is important & the supplies we need to teach your children are important too. The state does not provide them. Our county does not provide them.  And money we receive from the state or your classroom fees goes to purchase a million other things like printer cartridges, ipads, computer software, literacy stations, math manipulatives, furniture, classroom needs....

I have 2 boys. I chose to have them.  In that same choice to have them...I also chose to provide for them...its my responsibility.  I happily went & bought my oldest sons supplies this year & also some extras from his teacher's list. I am so thankful I have 2 healthy children one of whom is already in school & can use all of those supplies that his teacher asked for.  
I know the list is long. I know you can't find the plastic folders and the binders are a million sizes. I know the aisles are so crowded and babies are crying & kids are whining and you cannot focus on the tiny print.... I'm in the trenches with you....  write the governor..write the president...storm the steps in Montgomery... vote for a higher tax .....let your voice be heard... but please just don't let it be heard in the aisles of Walmart...or posted on the new feed of FB.....because a teacher is near & she hears you and her buggy contains her child's supplies plus a lot more that she is purchasing for her classroom because she wants to make your child's school year amazing.... she's not a monster.... just an educator without funding.... one day the crafts will end... the messes will end.... and you can purchase a notebook & a locker & a parking pass &  call it a year.  Try & focus on the fact that all those supplies are things your child will use to build a foundation... a love for learning....

6 comments:

sheena Higginbotham said...

Wow. I love this, i too hate dealing with the crowds. But knowing alex is having fun and learning is well worth it. Alex had an amazing kindergarten and first grade teacher . And if his teachers for the 2014-2015 year are half as good as y'all, he will have an amazing year.

Ed and Jeanne Gaffney said...

I am a grandmother now, but I have always thought that our government should (doesn't mean it will ever happen) supply the needs of our children's education. In a world of wasteful spending by our local, state, and federal governments, you would think they would want to make this most important investment in the educational system. It's sad when both parents work so hard to pay bills and still can't afford to buy school supplies for their three kids. So what happens? The grandparents who are on fixed incomes pitch in and buy the supplies. See...we understand the importance of investing in their education!! Stepping down off my soap box now....

bs said...

We live in a country that provides our children with a free quality education. The government funds the school facilities, the utilities, the teachers salaries ( most have a masters degree), and even free transportation to school. Not all countries are this fortunate! Imagine living in a country where you have to pay $400 per month for each child to attend public school. This is a reality for some countries. I thank God that we are privileged to live in a country that supplies a free, quality education to our children.

Teacherofed said...

I love this post. I don't teach kindergarten, so my students' third grade list is not as long, but I do need the items on the list for the exact same reasons. Since my kids are grown, I purchase supplies for my two nephews (to help my brother and sister-in-law) and for at least three students in my class because I teach at a Title 1 school where parents struggle to provide everything on the list, and because I love my students and don't want any of them singled out. I also purchase most of the graft items mentioned in the post after receiving donations from a wish list. I start purchasing these supplies right after school lets out in May (a few a week - not all at once). I know it's hard but complaining in Walmart will not make it better. We all need to make the best of it and do the best we can for our kids.

NIna Nunez said...
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