Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mam would you like to...

Buy a bag of school supplies for students who are in need this school year?, thanks

For the last month and a half this question has been asked at several stores
...truth be told I have never bought any of those bags of school supplies for needy students

Do I feel guilty
...yes & no

There have been times where I explain why I am not going to donate money for other students school supplies
...I teach and I already provide students with supplies

And there have been times when no reason is given
...if they only knew what I do for a living they would not be asking me this question.

I am sure if you are a teacher you have noticed the penny deal policies have changed in some of the office supply stores. These changes have effected how I go about supplying my own classroom and in turn have allowed me to have some interesting conversations with people, who are not in the classroom, about school supplies. 

One such conversation was with an employee at Staples. I was with a fellow teacher buying the ever so valuable notebook paper; when this gentleman asked why teachers have to supply students with paper: "don't they bring their own paper to school?" 
...what a dream students that had supplies for the entire year
Students do bring their own paper to school. Unfortunately, this paper last to September and then the asking starts:
...miss do you have any paper?
We explained to the man at staples that teachers are not going to penalize students for not having paper. There is learning to be done and if a student needs paper we are going to give them some paper. 

I used to get annoyed when students did not bring a pencil to class and now I brush it off my shoulder because I know there are bigger things to worry about!

Then came the conversation with my dad when I said students would give me a quarter for a spiral notebook. He said I should not be taking money from students in return for a notebook...and I agree with him. However, if I have waited a week and a half for students to bring in a notebook for class and they have not I will gladly sell them one. It's a quarter. I find that when students buy there own supplies for a couple of cents they have ownership of that notebook; it's not a hand out...they take pride in knowing that they bought their own notebook. 

The fact of the matter is that it would be nice if students came to school prepared for the entire day or even year, but this is not the world we live in. I believe people outside the classroom think students come to school bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for a day of learning...sometimes they do and sometimes they don't! I want my students to have a positive experience in school and if that means I provide them with a piece of paper or a pencil for the day...even if they buy it for a couple of cents...I am going to do what I have to do!

...after all I am a teacher this is part of the job description


  1. Well said... I went to 2 Best Buys to get the $0.10 spiral notebooks and portfolio deal. So 50+ notebooks and 100+ portfolios later, I can now combat the "my (parental figure) did not but it" excuse... I don't buy those bags either.

  2. It is absolutely amazing to me *what* people think teachers do...!

    Sent From My iPad


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