First day of school

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by mrs.sparker, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. mrs.sparker

    mrs.sparker Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I am going to be teaching in a school district with very low SES. I was going through my supplies and would like to maybe help out. I thought about telling the kids that if they had a problem getting school supplies then to see me before or after school.

    Then I had a thought...what if on the first day of school, I "raffled" some of my school supplies (paper, pens, pencils..etc.) I am going to be teaching very small classes. My question is in my bigger classes, are the kids who don't "win" something, going to hate me for the rest of the year? What do you think about this idea?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 27, 2007

    I also teach in a low-SES school. I would probably avoid a raffle because I'd worry that all my supplies would go to the kids who didn't really need them and I'd have none left for the students who did. Furthermore, although many of the kids' families don't have a lot of money, I've found that most are able to afford basic supplies.

    I plan to go ahead and list my required class materials (dry erase marker, pencil, pen, etc.) on my syllabus/course expectations sheet and notify kids that I do have most of those items available for purchase from me in my classroom in case they can't make it out to the store. I find that this indirectly encourages those needy students to approach me and let me know the deal, at which time I can happily and discreetly hand over a binder or some pencils free of charge.

    You'll want to check with your admins to find out whether it's appropriate for you to sell class supplies in your room. At my school it's fine, but I obviously wouldn't do it if it weren't allowed. I like doing it this way because a) kids aren't able to tell me that they didn't have time to go to the store, and b) I can buy these items in bulk and then offer them to students for a much lower price than they'd pay in the store. I sell the items for what I pay for them, or rounded down to the nearest 25 cents or so. Most items range from 10 cents (pencil) to $1 (dry erase marker).

    One last thing I'll suggest is that you maintain a supply of basic supplies throughout the year. Hopefully your office will be able to provide these for you--mine does. I'm talking about pencils, lined paper, erasers. These should be available for students who need supplies due to special circumstances. I had more than one student last year who told me that they no longer had a backpack, textbooks, or school supplies because they were forced to leave their home in the middle of the night when their mom was fleeing an abusive boyfriend. That stuff, unfortunately, is going to happen, and you'll want to be able to help those kids out. Certainly, you don't want to be giving your supplies away to kids who are just irresponsible and who ask for a pencil every single day, but you should have some extras on hand for other times.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 27, 2007

    I also work at a very low SES school. Over the years, the teachers have been very willing to give school supplies to those who cannot afford them, however, now many parents EXPECT us to supply their children with every last pencil and sheet of paper needed for the entire year. I would wait a few days into the school year to see who is missing supplies and then give to those students. I have no problem helping out those who truly can't afford to buy notebooks and such (I always hit all the sales:), but I think it's a little much to expect that I do so.
     
  5. 6ertchr

    6ertchr Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2007

    Ask your administrator for a list of items that the school will provide the students. Like you, I teach in a very low SES neighborhood. I never send home a supply list. The school provides the necessary tools for each child, such as paper, pencils, binders, pencil boxes, crayons, pens, scissors, glue, rulers, protractors, and folders. If I want the kids to have something that the school doesn't provide, I wait until they're on sale. I send home a letter telling parents about the items that have been provided for each child. I let them know that it is not the duty of the school or the teacher to replace these items, so if a child loses or damages their school supplies, the parents must replace it. I do, however, send home a wish list for parents that would like to donate items to the class. I usually put things like baby wipes, tissues (the school's tissues are rough), and air freshener on the list.
     
  6. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2007

    My last school was very SES and so is my new school. I expect that this school will be much like the last in that there will be some students who's families can afford most items, at least basic, and some who cannot afford much of anything. I don't know how much the school itself will provide or how much of a "budget" I will have. My last school had a lot of donations by local churches and businesses, so we had tissues, folders, binders, pens, pencils, paper, and the like. When it came to supplies, it was pretty odd in that the kids who's families could afford supplies habitually came to class without necessary supplies and mooched off of their friends. I would talk to them, call parents, refer to office, etc., but they never bothered to get their own stuff. The ones who could not afford much, if anything, always managed to come up with the necessary basics. Otherwise, the school would dip into its donations and provide basics.

    I use my excess notebook paper, pens, pencils, markers, colored pencils (I teach English but like to do a lot of graphic stuff to help understanding) and the like that are my kids' leftovers from previous years. For example, my youngest son needed a wide array of colored pencils for a geography project last year. He's done with those types of classes now (he's a junior this year), so I just confiscated his colored pencils, which, btw, had only been used for one project! I throw into the pile all of the pens, pencils, stickies, etc. that you pick up at PD conferences, get in goodie bags at the beginning of school from the community, etc. So, really, I end up with tons of stuff for the classroom as a whole and extras for kids who I know really need the help (or the ones that had a forgetful moment ;)
     

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