I saw some replies to my 'tables vs. desks in 3rd grade'. I wanted to start a new thread to respond/ask about the issue of school supplies. As a parent, I agree that if I buy the 'better' brand for my child to use, I expect that she should be able to use what I bought. Things like crayons, pencils, glue, markers, don't matter so much. But, the kind of scissors and folders/binders I buy are a different story. If I spent a little more money for a plastic folder (that would last and look nice) then I don't appreciate her coming home with a paper one and telling me the teacher said "It doesn't matter which one you get, that is why I told parents not to write names on them." As a teacher, I wish that parents would get what we ask them to on the supply list. If we ask for 2 plastic red folders, that is what we need. There is usually a reason we ask for specific things. We don't need 2 Scooby Doo, Lisa Frank, or Batman ones. I don't think parents realize this. I end up having to buy those kids the 'right' kind of folder and then the parents ask why did I send home the 'Batman' one. I think it would be so much easier if the parents just send a 'supply' fee and the teachers got what they needed for the class. That would be easier than parents crowding Wal-Mart trying to get them themselves. As a parent, I would love to skip that wonderful little trip to Wal-Mart for school supplies!