Have you ever asked students in resource for school supplies?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by waterfall, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,839
    Likes Received:
    694

    Aug 15, 2013

    I've been toying with this idea. I don't need much, but it seems unfair that gen ed teachers get to just ask the students to bring whatever they need and sped teachers are expected to just buy everything...if I want every kid to have a binder, I have to go buy 30 binders (or more, I suspect my caseload is going to be huge). On the other hand, I'm sure it doesn't seem fair to families that they have to buy more.

    If I could ask for whatever I wanted, this would be my list:

    1 two inch binder
    1 set of tab dividers
    1 box of tissues
    1 pack of pencils
    1 pack of dry erase markers
    1 pack of lined loose leaf paper

    I calculated that out to about $18 for the whole list (without special sales, so it would probably be cheaper). Assuming I could find stuff in bulk and/or on sale, I'm still looking at a cost of at the very least $300 if I buy all of this myself. I don't know if I have a budget yet, but I've never gotten more than $150.

    The only thing they could reasonably bring from gen ed to use is a pencil, and I decided my first year that I was just not going to fight the pencil battle. My CT did that and kids were constantly having to go back to their rooms to get a pencil they forgot. I figure in sped we've got bigger issues to deal with. I sharpened them in the morning and put them out in a cup, and then as each kid left I made sure they had put it back.

    My other (perhaps more reasonable) thought was to put a "wish list" at the bottom of my welcome letter telling parents that we would be using the following items and it would be great if they could send one or more of the items. Then I'd have to just see what I end up with- it might be better than nothing and would probably sit better with parents.

    I'd ask admin before doing either of those things, but what are your thoughts?
     
  2.  
  3. Ted

    Ted Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 15, 2013

    New laws mandate that you must only ask for "donations" and that your supply list is a "suggested one"...you can't ask for any requirements. "Free school" and all that. :)

    If you're in a private sector, then ignore that advice and go for it! :)
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,839
    Likes Received:
    694

    Aug 15, 2013

    All of the schools around here put out school supply lists for gen ed teachers. Of course there isn't really a way to literally force parents to buy the stuff, but most do. I worked in an extremely low income area last year and only had a couple kids who brought nothing. I've seen the grade level lists for my school this year and they don't say anything about items being "donations."

    I think the difference between saying "here is what your student needs for the resource room" and "please help by donating one or more of these items if you can" is that in the first scenario I'd get the entire list from most families (but they might be angry that they have to buy school supplies twice) and in the second scenario I might get a couple of items from parents who are extra thoughtful.
     
  5. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    193

    Aug 15, 2013

    It is not against the law to ask parents for supplies in most places. However, rather than generating an additional list of supplies for the resource room, I would try to work with the classroom teachers to see if some of your requests could be incorporated into the general supply list. For instance we ask for three boxes of tissues. Maybe you could get one of the three for your room?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,939
    Likes Received:
    2,086

    Aug 15, 2013

    Resource teachers in my district mostly ask for a folder, spiral or composition notebook, pencils....they are mosly supporting what's going on in the gen Ed classroom. In fact, a lot of our resource is push in. When kids get out of class support, they are mosly bringing materials from their gen Ed class.
    Maybe resource is different in your district. What would you be doing in the binder?
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,839
    Likes Received:
    694

    Aug 15, 2013

    I thought about that, but their supply lists have been out for months. That might be a good idea for next year. It's especially a problem for me this year because since I switched districts I will not get a paycheck in August. I simply don't have any extra money to spend on school supplies this year.

    I noticed that their supply lists each included an item that the students needed for art. However, every kid goes to art...how would parents feel about being asked to buy extra supplies for a teacher that their child doesn't even see?
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,939
    Likes Received:
    2,086

    Aug 15, 2013

    I don't think it's appropriate to ask for supplies from students with whom you don't work.:2cents:
     
  9. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 15, 2013

    Does your school not have a supply closet? Every school I've worked in has had a supply closet where you can get those basic items (paper, pencils, binders, index cards, etc.)

    Also, in the past I've been able to get donations of items that were misprinted. You might try that for the pencils and binders.

    Also, Dollar Tree has tab dividers! That's a good option.

    In the past, I've gotten donations from the regular Ed teachers. Do you have any buddy teachers (who serve your kids) that you could shoot out an email to say "if you have extra tissues,
    Loose leaf paper, etc that you could share with the resource room,
    Do you mind sharing?" Etc?

    Also, you can put up a list at back to school night. I've done that before and every year I have one mom
    Who is totally into it and will literally supply the whole list. (I don't have difficulty with normal supplies, it's off the wall stuff for an autism classroom like Lysol wipes, wallets, drawstring bags for CBI, spray cleaner, swiffer sheets etc).
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,839
    Likes Received:
    694

    Aug 15, 2013

    Thanks for the ideas! I didn't know dollar tree had the tab dividers. That's a good option.

    I'm not sure if the school has a "supply closet" but I've never worked in a building with one, so I just assumed not, especially since on the gen ed teachers supply lists they have the basics like paper and pencils. I'm k-5, so I'm not taking kids from just one class or grade level. I'm also new, so I don't know who might be willing to donate anything extra...I'm meeting with my team today so I might ask if they have any ideas.

    I like the open house idea also.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,839
    Likes Received:
    694

    Aug 15, 2013

    All of my services are pull-out. I'm the only sped teacher for the school- push-in wouldn't work because my kids are all spread out in about 14 different classrooms. We work on their IEP goals...I don't just assist them with whatever they're doing in gen ed, although my para might. They're doing actual lessons in my room.

    The binder was probably the best idea I had my 2nd year when I was working on organization. I printed off all the probes they'd need for progress monitoring at the beginning of the year and put them in their binder for math, reading, and writing. That way on Fridays when we did data I could just pull out their binder and get the next sheet, rather than trying to print everything every week. They all need different things because their goals are different, so just keeping stacks of probes didn't work either. I also had a section for charting all of their data, a section for work samples, a section for notes, a section for the most recent IEP, and a section for detailed logging of each parent contact. Documentation is so important in sped. Then for each IEP meeting I could also just bring their binder and anything I needed to show the parent was already in it.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    1,274

    Aug 15, 2013

    That's a great idea about printing out all the probes at the beginning of the year. I tried binders last year, but it got a little cumbersome. I switched to hanging files for fourth quarter, and I'm continuing with those. Maybe I'll have to give binders another shot....
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    1,274

    Aug 15, 2013

    As far as supplies... No, I haven't requested anything in the past. We need binders (one for each student) for certain intervention programs we're using. Some kids have two binders - one for reading intervention and one for writing intervention. Our district coordinators told us to ask the parents... That might work for the majority of schools in our district, but it is unlikely that I would receive anything in my building. It's hard enough to get parents to show up for IEP meetings and return paperwork, let alone send in a binder.

    I'm thinking about sending out a plea to the teachers who have my students in their classrooms and asking them to share kleenex and hand sanitizer with me. There was a teacher who shared so much with me in the past, but she retired in May. Seems no one else has yet had the wisdom to realize how appreciative (and willing to return the favor in a different way) a sped teacher might be to receive even a single box of kleenex from their classroom supply.

    As for pencils... Back when I taught regular ed at a miserable start-up charter with zero supplies, I made a request for pencils on Donor's Choose. I had pencils within the week. Total strangers from around the country donated to my project because they were astonished that I had to buy my own pencils. That was my first year teaching. I'm not starting year four, and I still have three plastic shoeboxes full of pencils. If nothing else, try posting there. Maybe total strangers will come through for you, too. ;)
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,839
    Likes Received:
    694

    Aug 15, 2013

    Seriously, it was the best thing I ever did! It was a lot of work up front but saved me at least two hours of work each week. Where did you get your binders? I'm trying to find somewhere that I could buy them in bulk for cheap, but the cheapest I'm finding is just under 4 dollars a piece, which is a lot when you consider getting one for every kid. I got them from classroom direct the first time on some special sale, but now they're over 4 dollars each! Unfortunately that was with my supply money so I had to leave them at that school.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,839
    Likes Received:
    694

    Aug 15, 2013

    I will definitely look into that! Maybe I can ask for tissues too... I always spend so much on tissues!
     
  16. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 15, 2013

    I know this may sound gross, but I always use toilet paper instead of tissues. It's hard to ask for students to bring tissues to class in high school and with 180 students a day it would be way too expensive for me. So I normally steal toilet paper or paper towels. :)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. j0os3ff20,
  2. rpan,
  3. vickilyn,
  4. allaphoristic
Total: 395 (members: 4, guests: 354, robots: 37)
test