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Discussion in 'General Education' started by blazer, May 6, 2018.

  1. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    May 6, 2018

    What have you supplied on the list and what else have you brought in for your kids?

    https://www.theguardian.com/educati...teachers-crowdfunding-books-pencils-donations

    I have bought stationery and fruit into school and on occasion have paid so that a pupil can have a school lunch. I once also found the money so that a recently bereaved student could go on a residential field trip when her mum had no money to pay after paying for the dad's funeral!

    One school I worked in used to wash clothes for some pupils using the washing machines that were normally used to wash the sports team uniforms.

    I have also passed on clothing that my own kids have grown out of to friends working in other schools so that they can be given to younger pupils.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    May 6, 2018

    I have bought just about everything over the years. I always buy the normal things like paper, pencils, folders, and other school supplies when they are on sale in the summer.

    I always keep crackers, fruit snacks, and other snacks on hand. I also buy bandages, lotion, sanitizer, tissues, cough drops, and peppermints that I consider "comfort items". I keep a jar of change and dollar bills. I've bought feminine items.

    I've donated for school clothes, shows, field trips.

    We have approximately 70% of our students on free/reduced lunch, and we are in a rural area. Many of our kids don't have the money to buy things, and they often don't have transportation to get out of town, so if it can't be found at the dollar stores here in town, they don't get it.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    May 6, 2018

    I'm very fortunate in that most of my children come from middle to upper-middle class families. This makes it hard for the kids that do not, however. They are the minority and it is obvious for them.

    I do not typically provide food because we have a couple of great supports for that already in place. The kids that need extra help in that arena know where to find it. I have shared with kids that had their lunchbox stolen, forgot it at home or were "starving" because they unexpectantly had to stay after school. My first two years of teaching I had to buy copy paper. The past two years I have to either use my home printer or pay to have copies made at a copy center.

    I have donated or supplied a lot of different things. I had no wall clock or trash can so I had to buy them for my room. The wall clocks have twice been "borrowed" by administration for state testing and never returned. I grab backpacks on clearance or at yard sales to give to students who need them. Of course I buy consumables like paper, crayons, pencils, etc. We don't have soap or paper towels in bathrooms often so I've bought that many times. Kleenex. Lots of Kleenex. One year I bought toilet paper because we didn't have any until the end of the month. I only put some out once before I realized that parents needed to know about that one and let the kids make that change.

    I've donated clothes, prom dresses, shoes, lots of coats and other cold weather gear.

    I've had to buy all sorts of materials for labs. Anything from dollar store finds to chemicals from chemical supply companies.

    I scour yard sales and thrift stores for books. Kids are free to borrow but I don't get hung up on it if a book doesn't come back. I also buy reference books to use in class.
     
  5. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    May 6, 2018

    Over time, I have bought all the things on the list.
    I have found most teachers do what needs to be done. I can't stand to see lack when I know I can find a way to provide.
    Like 2ndTimeAround, I make the same kinds of purchases.
    When I receive gift cards, like during teacher appreciation week, I will try to use those to buy things for the classroom. I try to keep an eye on sales, deals and yard sales. I also have friends and family who help me in that pursuit. They are my crowd sourcing! :) I am super thankful for them.
     
  6. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    May 7, 2018

    I forgot the Prom. During my mid life crisis in my early 50s I bought a black convertible. In it I would chauffeur those girls in my tutor group whose parent's couldn't afford a Limo.
     
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  7. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    We have a nice program that collects prom dresses and accessories and loans them out to girls.

    I didn’t go to my prom, so I paid a pretty penny for my daughter’s gown. I thought I had lost my mind looking at prices, but when she tried on her dress,that smile on her face was priceless.

    I made a couple of payments for one day...and made her happy.

    So I can see the need for more resale shops and programs that provide that service.

    I don’t think I would personally foot the bill for that as a teacher. But, I would make referrals to help find assistance for the family.
     
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  8. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I think we as teachers go above and beyond with supplementing materials for the class.

    Personally, I’ve brought a boat-load of clothes and underwear for my children. My thing is, if my grand baby was sad and wet and dirty, I would hope to that some teacher would find some clothes for her.

    That being said, it irks the hell out of me when I see kids and parents with 20 pairs if sneakers, but not a stitch of extra clothes in their cubby.

    So when a parent gets mad at me because her son is wearing a pair of girls’ shorts. I will tell them, “Ms. Know-It-All, I have sent home a dozen notes and asked you several times to bring a set if clothes for your child. I personally have dug through tubs in many K-Mart blue light specials, and spent over $60 on clothes that mainly YOUR child has worn. I don’t even bother to ask you to send them back! So if you have anymore questions about your son in girls’ clothes, let’s go to the office and speak to the director.”

    I don’t mind buying a few things, but I hate it when somebody starts taking advantage of me.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  9. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    May 7, 2018

    RIF will donate books. The dental van will come to your school, do exams and cleanings and give out toothbrushes. Crest & Colgate will give you books and toothbrushes & toothpaste too.

    Low-income areas have local park districts that provide free lunch all summer. I have seen teens, college students and grown men stand in line for these box lunches. No ID required, nobody is refused.
     
  10. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    May 7, 2018

    Eh, I mostly buy crayons and markers on sale. When I received clothing samples that matched our uniform (free for me) I donated them to our uniform bank. I once gave a hungry student a granola bar I happened to have in my purse.

    Apparently I really don't go out of my way to buy for students. I suppose I really do believe parents ought to be arranging that. I'm more than happy to help the parents find ways to arrange it, but I guess I may not be going out of my pocket enough!
     
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  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 7, 2018

    The first couple of years at our school saw us putting in a lot of our own money for supplies and treats. We're now working with some amazing people who regularly bring in pencils, paper, and a ton of basic supplies. We also get breakfast items donated a couple of times a year, usually when we're running state testing. I keep missing the Whirlpool grant for laundry equipment, but perhaps I'll start looking for private donations from people who are about to upgrade. I have a plumber friend who would donate his time to handle the hookups.
     
  12. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Before I worked as a teacher I worked in the aircraft industry. One of the jobs we did was Xraying Metal components. The films came wrapped in large sheets of yellow and light green paper. The X ray dept had 2 dumpsters worth of this paper waiting to be collected for waste. My wifes school had the lot. It took 3 trips in the car to transfer it all. It kept then in drawing paper for years.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
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  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    There are pantries at the churches that provide food to all in need on a monthly basis. This is more than just can goods. Grocery stores donate overstock and outdated products. Many pantries have clothes too. Clerk offices and township office offer a Back-to-School clothing & supplies drive in the fall and toys & coat drive in the winter.

    We are using the goodness of our hearts and dollars from our paychecks to subsidize some families. Some truly need help and others only act helpless.

    At the end of the day, I feel I have done my job and a little more. But I don’t want to get burned or burned out trying to save all the starfish. I feel it’s best to find resources that specialize in these areas. That way, the families get a helping hand and not a hand out.
     
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Exactly.

    The fact is, if we had "thousands of dollars" to spare each year on students, I probably wouldn't be working.

    I don't even mind schools being a centralized point for services. What I do mind is dumping the responsibility on teachers.
     
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  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 7, 2018

    I used to provide a lot more than I do now.

    Back when the penny sales were better, I'd always stock up on tons of supplies. I didn't mind that because the $10 or so I'd spend would amount to hundreds and hundreds of supplies for students, so it felt like a small bit of money went a very long way.

    Now, I supply a very finite amount, and that's only when I feel like it. For example, I might buy a few boxes of crayons if they're on sale. I'll put those out for students to use, and once they're used up, that's the end of it. I won't go out of my way to replenish those supplies. If students intentionally damage or destroy my supplies, I take them away altogether.

    I don't provide kleenex for students because they go through it so quickly. I do generally put out a large bottle of hand sanitizer, because I figure that's for the greater good in terms of limiting the spread of germs.

    When I learn about students who don't have access to food, clothing, or medical supplies, I do a referral to one of our school's many wraparound/outreach programs. Those groups exist in order to provide these sorts of things for students, so I'm not going to go out of my way to duplicate what they receive grants and whatnot to fund.
     
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  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    So can we agree, in some manner that those of us who are in a position to share and have the heart to do so?

    And some of us feel a few purchases are nice and even necessary for the immediate well-being of a child (ex. granola bars, extra clothing), but it should not be an entitlement or on-going mission.
     
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  17. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    One other note...depending on the age of the child, and the family background, we could be causing undue stress on the child by pointing out obvious problems. This is why social service agencies exist. At the school level, PTA and PTOs, social workers, and counselors should handle these issues discreetly. Also, they can make sure items are handled properly.

    Last day of school before Christmas break, 5 year old dear daughter came home smiling. "Mommy, the PTO lady gave us something!"

    "Okay honey, put it under the tree."

    Two weeks later, while taking down the tree, I found an envelope underneath the tree skirt.

    I opened it and found a $50 gift certificate for groceries. If only I had known sooner.


    At 12 years of age, same dear daughter came home crying the last day before Thanksgiving.

    I said, "What's wrong?"

    "Mom, the PTO made food baskets for the needy. Me and the other NJHS students had to go around and pass them out."

    "Okay??"

    "When I got back to my room, there was a food basket on my desk!"

    "Well, why didn't you bring it home??"

    "I was too embarrassed! I gave it to my teacher, and she said it's in the office if you still want it."
     
  18. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    I'd agree with that. Me fishing a granola bar out of my purse is a lot different than making it part of my houehold budget.

    It's not that I don't commend those who do make it part of the budget, it's the idea "it's the teachers' job to provide all this".
     
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  19. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    I both cringe and laugh at this.

    I get it. Few people want to be known as the one in need.
     
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  20. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Dare I say....

    This will lead us back to the "Unbelievable" - teacher's strike post??

    Is it our jobs to provide for the education and the general welfare of our children??

    Should we ignore our own needs, or over extend ourselves for the good of our children? That is, avoid a strike vote or walking the picket line so no child will be excluded from the safety of the classroom.

    Hmmm???
     
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  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    May 7, 2018

    There are going to be children in need. What frustrates me is that the teacher shouldn't be the main one stepping up for these children at a school. Schools, districts, and government should provide extra school supplies, food etc. for these children. It shouldn't come down to so often that the teacher is having to choose to let the student go without food, pencil, crayons etc. or have the teacher provide them.
     

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