Reward for buying supplies?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BumbleB, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Jul 15, 2014

    So, like many of you, I am asked to prepare a supply list for the upcoming school year. And every year I am disappointed when only a handful of students actually have everything specified on the supply list. My list is not long or involved. To purchase everything would be $10 or $15, tops.

    Last year I asked my students (individually) why they didn't have their supplies. I work in a low-income district, so I was fully expecting them to say something about mom not having money, younger siblings taking up all of the back-to-school funds, etc. Instead, their responses were "I didn't know we had a supply list" or "my mom doesn't look at that when she goes shopping". SO MUCH FRUSTRATION. So it's not that the funds aren't there, it's that the supply list is being ignored.

    I want to give some sort of reward to students who have all of their supplies, but I don't know if that would be ethical considering that I work in a low-income area, and I don't want to seem as if I'm rewarding a few students for being "well off". But, I do want to light a fire under them to look at the supply list and actually purchase what's on it, because it's so infuriating to plan a lesson using highlighters and no one has them. We all tried ordering class sets of things to make up for the fact that no one buys the supply list, but my principal shot that down, saying that we didn't have the money to support class sets and "that's what supply lists are for". :dizzy:

    Sooooo that's a really long way of asking....would you reward students for bringing supplies? If so, how? I teach 8th grade, btw. Thanks!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 15, 2014

    Just because a kid says his/her parent didn't know there was a supply list doesn't mean its the truth.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Could you run it by your admin?
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2014

    I would not offer a reward.

    I keep a cup of highlighters (about 25) on my desk for student use. I just buy the multi-color Sharpie skinny ones and pass them out/collect them if it is a class activity.

    Even if parents buy supplies, they won't last all year. A kid may have highlighters in September and they will be gone by Halloween. So I just buy extras of the supplies that I know my kids will need and keep them on hand. I teach secondary, so I don't require many things.
     
  6. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    Jul 15, 2014

    I teach in a low income school as well, and last year we got $100 dollars for supplies and such...in November.

    I can't see giving a reward for bringing in supplies, because I know some of my kids would say things like that because of embarrassment, while others would say that in truth or just wouldn't care enough.

    I think I am going to make a list of required items, as well as optional ones. Required items, like my composition books, I will explain will be a part of a grade and they should have them by such and such date.

    I might include something like, "if you cannot get the required items, please send a call, or email and let me know." ??


    That way students of parents who don't care, might push them to go get the stuff and ones who can't actually afford it know that I can help if they contact me. I go to back to school sales and pick up a couple things for those that don't have them, and for students that come in later, ect.
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 15, 2014

    I don't agree with giving rewards or grades for bringing supplies in at all. This is not something that is within the child's control, unless they are old enough to work and have a paycheck of their own. You may be judging these parents that they have enough money, but remember many probably have more than one child to buy for-it adds up.

    I have never gotten all the supplies I ask for. I don't even keep track when they bring them in-we get what we get. I hit up the back-to-school sales to make sure I get a few things that we may not get a whole class set of.
     
  8. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Jul 15, 2014

    Ugh, I don't think I'm going to give out a reward. I'm just tired of buying supplies for everyone, or not being able to do what I want because we don't have the supplies. And kids rarely thank me when I provide them with notebooks, folders, pencils, etc. It just gets draining. But you guys are right...it's not necessarily their fault.
     
  9. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Jul 15, 2014

    My school is Title 1, and I wouldn't reward students for bringing stuff in. My supply list is very basic, the toughest item is graph paper, and I always have a stash on hand for students who don't have any.
     
  10. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Aaaaand from the responses, I feel like a total jerk for even posting this :p
     
  11. live

    live Companion

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    Don't feel like a jerk...a jerk wouldn't have been thoughtful enough to ask.

    I honestly don't even keep track of who brings in what. If students don't have something, they can borrow from my supplies or they share with one another.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2014

    Even though I can afford to buy my own children supplies, it always bothered me when their teachers offered extra credit and such for bringing in extra stuff.

    That being said, last year I had enough of what you're discussing. It was obvious that my students could afford supplies. I knew they went to stores on a regular basis because of the conversations they had. They just refused to make the supplies for my class a priority.

    I decided to send home a printed supply list. I went over the list in detail on the first day of class. I made "the list" a homework assignment and gave them a deadline. I told the students that if they truly had reasons why they could not get their supplies they needed to speak to me privately or write me a note. I would work with them and their parents. I also made a note on their progress report if I was not able to reach the parents.

    I still had kids that refused to bring in supplies because if was *my job to provide them, they thought. But it made life a lot easier for me.
     
  13. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Jul 16, 2014

    I teach special ed. We provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education - FAPE so I cannot do supply lists. I do wish lists and sometimes get materials. Some parents are very generous and others help in other ways.

    Most of my students are on the free lunch program. The students that have the greatest financial needs at home actually bring supplies in their backpacks. They got the backpacks through a back to school giveaway program. The first time I saw one I was speechless. It was so wonderful. I've had students in foster care, homeless shelters, with these packs.

    I always chuckle when I see the gen ed teachers with their supplies from students. As was already said, they don't last all year. Our school gives us some things but most of what I have I got from grants. It also takes away the haves and have not's in the classroom and the potential for a sense of entitlement.

    You're not a jerk for posting about it. I always wondered what teachers did when students couldn't come up with supplies, something that seems impossible given the mob frenzy at Staples just before school starts. Our local store posts the school lists.
     
  14. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    Jul 16, 2014

    I agree, don't feel that way! I would like to know what to do too! :)

    Looks like we are all in the same boat.


    I know a teacher once who posted things that she needed for her classroom on craigslist, she ended up getting a sponsor for her classroom. I'm jealous about that.
     
  15. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2014

    As frustrating as it, it's not the kid's fault. I feel the same way when I have 1 or 2 kids in class that don't complete a project- when I send the poster board home with them! I just have to remind myself that it's not the kid's fault. I don't think offering rewards would get more students to bring in supplies.
     

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