As most of you know, I teach in very low income urban elementary schools. Last year, I had one student consistently bring supplies. My school did not supply the amounts needed (of anything), so I ended up purchasing about 90% of the supplies for my classroom - from pencils to paper to journals to bottled water, crayons, glue, and so on! I know that I sent lots of materials to school with my daughter, and continually re-supplied her (and offered materials to teachers throughout the year) in spite of our often tenuous economic situation. My students often have one or two uniforms that are not regularly cleaned and never ironed. Many of my students do not bathe regularly, and 100% are on free lunch. Ironically, some of these same students have $200 shoes, IPODs, and gameboys. Their parents (those that have them - many live with grandparents) have cell phone numbers that change with alarming frequency, but I have not always been notified of the numbers, leaving no way to contact someone in an emergency. For many of my students, the only meals they will have are those they get at school. A bag of chips may be supper that night. I'm not b**ching, I promise. I love my kids, and I DO have some parents that REALLY try. I have been in situations very similar to many of the families I serve. I just see the posts about kids paying school fees, stocking supplies, snacks brought from home, etc., and think of my babies - one of which I bought a coat for last year. All of my students took pictures last spring and took them home, yet none paid for them despite repeated requests from the school. I know that I am not the only one teaching in such a situation. If you are, I would love to know and to read about your experiences. What have you found that works or does not work? For myself, I refuse to have anything but the highest expectations for my kids. I do not make excuses for them. What about you?