Quick vent

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Apr 15, 2013

    One of students came up to me and said, "My mom told me to tell you I need a new spelling notebook." Inside, I was fuming. Since when is it our responsibility to supply kids with everything? When I was in school, I brought my own pencils, got new notebooks when they were empty, new crayons if they broke, etc. I get so frustrated! Ugh...

    I do have some spare notebooks. Should I give him one and get over it (and risk the other kids finding out and suddenly 'needing one' too), or politely tell him he needs to buy one?
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 15, 2013

    The only case in which I provide extra materials is if I know for sure that the student's family absolutely can't afford it. I would politely inform him that he needs to buy one or better yet, call the parent and politely inform her, (because the kid will probably forget).
     
  4. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I would only give away my own supplies when the kid's family can't afford it. I would write the mom and tell her where she can buy a cheap, new notebook for the kid. Maybe put in that the school does not supply notebooks for the kids?
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I would be livid. I would also just give the kid a notebook because that's not the hill I want to die on. But you're not wrong.

    Can you send a general note home saying "OH HEY, it's 4th quarter! We could really use X, Y, Z if you're willing to donate."

    You might get some stuff that way. But I stock up at penny sales for this reason.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Is the notebook a part of their original supply list? If so they need to get a new one themselves.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I give out play money (fake dollars and coins) throughout the day as a reward. Each Friday, I open up the "store" for 10-15 minutes and the kids can use their money to purchase things. If they lose something, they have to use their money to purchase the item(s) (i.e., notebooks, folders, pencils, etc.) If they haven't lost anything, they can use their money on fun stuff! This teaches them responsibility while helping them count money.
     
  8. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    There are parents out there that truly believe that it is the schools responsibility to give out supplies. I bet the parent has no idea that it is coming out of your pocket. I can't tell you how many people have said to me, shocked "You buy your own supplies?!" I would send home a quick note saying the child needs a new spelling book as soon as possible.

    Incidentally, I do buy supplies for my students all the time. As much as I adore them, and as much as I know that most or all of them come from very low income homes, I resent having to do this. It shouldn't be our responsibilty, and I've never gotten so much as a single thank you from a parent for providing for their child in this way.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I don't think I would give him one. If I did, it would be a student that moved away and left theirs. I have a few that I keep around for that reason.

    The teacher I took over for set up response journals. They are in the nice plastic folder, with some page protectors holding high frequency words, writing prompts, etc... A few weeks ago, I had a kid hand me a new spiral notebook. I asked where her folder was. She said her 'Nana' needed it, so they bought her the spiral notebook. I am STILL biting my tongue. The former teacher bought these folders with her own money, and put them together a particular way for a reason!
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 15, 2013

    I tell those children to tell their mother to go buy one. I am not a money tree.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    It depends. I usually have a couple dozen notebooks for those without, but if I know the parent can supply one and he or she is simply being entitled, then no. I would say simply, " Tell her she'll need to get you a notebook because I don't have any to give away." That said, I'm not going to allow a student to feel bad because of his or her parents. When students know, and sometimes they do, that their parents are dropping the ball, I do what I can to bridge that gap.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    As a parent, before my teacher days, I'm guilty of thinking that whatever came from school, came from the school budget. I had no idea teachers personally bought anything. For this reason, when my own child was in kindergarten, I refused to buy dry erase markers. I did not understand why the school was not buying them. I didn't have a clue the teacher bought them if not supplied. I never intended to slight a teacher, but by golly, my real estate taxes alone should go towards stuff like this. That was my thinking. Parents may or may not know this stuff. I know I didn't.

    I also don't remember ever replenishing anything until maybe middle school when I had my own individual supplies to go from teacher to teacher. I assumed it was to help the schools supplement, but not necessarily to furnish it. Naive--I know.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    My school will give us any school supplies we ask for. We just have to order it (although it might take a while to get). I am guilty of buying some things for my students just because I want it THAT day since I'm very impatient. Also, thinking ahead to summer, I don't know how teachers can go to 5 different Staples during the Teacher penny or 25 cent sales and get 100 notebooks or pencils or whatever but parents can't get 2 or 3 for their own kids? Maybe they dont know about it but it sure seems silly for teachers to be spending their summers stocking up on this stuff when it would be just as easy for parents to do it and a whole lot cheaper when only buying for their own kids.
     
  14. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    I've literally had this conversation word for word.
    Student: I need a new binder.
    Me: Yes?
    Student: So are you gonna give me one?

    True story.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I have kids ask me this ALL of the time. I don't give something out unless it's a kid who moved and left it because I'd be buying for kids all year. Our families are low-income, but they literally sell this stuff at the dollar store or sometimes even cheaper at Wal-Mart. If they have 50 cents to bring for popcorn or cookie day or whatever, they have 50 cents for paper. I can't tell you how many times I've had the "if you're out of paper, you need to tell your mom that you need more" conversation. We also have local charities that provide school supplies which I would be happy to give more information to parents about. I wouldn't give the kid any supplies because then everyone will be asking.
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I don't have this problem as much anymore now that I teach resource. I still buy a lot on my own, but things just don't seem to disappear as quickly. That aside, I'm getting worked up just thinking about this.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 15, 2013

    Staple some pages in a folder.
     
  18. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    We supply homework binders at the beginning of the year, and I've gotten the "I need a new binder" thing too. I just say, "Well, I told you at the beginning of the year that you only get one binder. You will have to find something else to use or buy a new binder."

    I really like YTG's idea. If it's something they absolutely need and the parents won't supply it, make the kid feel like he or she is "buying" it so that it means something and they aren't getting it for free. I have done this with whiteboard markers and my own classroom economy.
     
  19. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Apr 15, 2013

    Notebooks cost 10 cents during the summer sales. I always buy extra notebooks, folders, pencil top erasers, etc. for just such a moment as this. Then I can give the kid a folder or notebook with nary a second thought. I mean, seriously, would you ever throw a dime in a donation jar somewhere? I know I would, so I just consider this to be the same type of thing. Not worth getting worked up over.

    Now for the kid who just lost his second notebook in a month, that's different. I still don't really care about two dimes, but now I make him put a little sweat equity into getting another one so he appreciates it more.
     
  20. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Apr 15, 2013

    Here in Michigan, it's actually state law that public schools be completely free, providing everything for the students. We do ask parents to provide supplies out of the kindness of their hearts but they are in no way required to do so.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's very different from expecting teachers to provide everything for the students. I would take this sort of law to mean that the school or district would provide everything for the students.
     
  22. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I'm not the OP, but I'm guessing that it was more the demand of the parent that set her off. If the kid said "hey, my folder is falling apart", it is way different that "my mom told me to tell you that I need a new notebook".

    It is not what is asked, but how it is presented.

    (Of course, this is just my interpretation)
     
  23. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    That's correct. Schools are supposed to provide the essentials. We each get $200 for our classroom budget to buy those things ourselves.
     
  24. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I like this idea!:thumb:
     
  25. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    I would assume the kid just worded it clumsily. I could easily see the parent saying, "Ask Mrs. Smith if you can have a new spelling notebook," and having it come out that way from the kid.

    If it really sounded overly demanding, I could see saying something like, "That sounds rather demanding," to the child with a little raised eyebrow and smirk, and then, "Could you ask a little more politely?"
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is also how I interpreted it. The expectation that teachers would provide personal items for student use is upsetting. There is a sense of entitlement here, and that's what bugs me about the whole thing.

    I have some supplies available for students, things that I've accumulated over the years at penny sales and whatnot. I'm happy to share them with students, but I'm happier when the students approach me in a polite way, asking rather than demanding.

    This year I've worked to get rid of a lot of my student supplies because I've moved into a new, smaller classroom and I don't have the space to house it all. I gave notebooks to a couple of my classes. When they started to fill up those notebooks, they became quite demanding about receiving new notebooks. I had to sort of lay it out for them and tell them 1) I didn't have any more notebooks to give them, and 2) making demands for more of a thing that someone has given them as a kindness is rude. Many students apologized after that, but I'm not entirely sure that they've really learned the lesson.
     
  27. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Update: Mom sent me a note that said, "I sent in 5 notebooks with ___ back in September, can't you give him one of those?" Um, yes, but that was 9 months ago...roughly 145 school days ago....we have 20 kids...

    I don't want to fight this battle, I really don't. I gave him a notebook, privately, so that none of the other kids will clammer for one, and moved on. So frustrating.
     
  28. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    This doesn't make sense to me. What does 5 personal notebooks sent in have to do with other students?
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Community supply, probably.
     
  30. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Depends on the situation. I have several students who have informed me that their parents believe it is part of my job descriptions to provide them with materials for class. Literally.

    Then I have other kids who just never have anything because they lose everything within 30 seconds.

    Then I have a few kids who lie and say they their parents told them to tell me to get XYZ for them and they'll pay me back.

    I check and see if they're ED. If they are, they get all the supplies they could need. If not, I send a note home stating that they need supplies.

    But, if Mom sent in 5 notebooks at the beginning of the year, I can see why she wouldn't really want to buy a new one.
     
  31. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Exactly. If any of those 5 notebooks were used on other students, then absolutely the kid should get another one without the parent having to buy it.
     

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