School supply shopping

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Aces, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    We went to Walmart for groceries and our Walmart had a section of under $2 school supplies. Can anyone say SCORE!? They had packs of pencils for $0.75/pack (10/pack), spiral notebooks for $0.50/ea, three ring binders for $1, pocket sized hand sanitizers for $0.10/ea. But it was in a really obscure place in a corner basically. Just thought I'd share.
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Supplies have been on sale in my area for about 3 weeks now. I purchased already, although tax free week-end isn’t until next week.
     
  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Have you guys already asked your principals to purchase these supplies for you? Including the hand sanitizer. I've seen some administrators deliver!
     
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  5. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    No, not yet. I don't know our new principal well enough to bother him with such things yet. I've still yet to decide if I like him or not.
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Ha ha
     
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  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I turned in a request for a class set of markers and some other supplies. Think it was around $100. I really didn’t need much this year. I will buy things on sale sometimes, but I don’t always. Nothing more aggravating than going after something to find it sold out. Might be different if I had stores nearby.

    I bought a case of baby wipes for my classroom, and DH and I bought a case of tissues at Costco. And I bought a new planner.

    I think Walmart had supplies out in early July. I go back tomorrow.
     
  8. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Completely unrelated but what exactly does "DH" stand for? I've been meaning to ask.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    DH = Dear Husband
     
  10. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    That makes sense. I thought the husband part but then I couldn't figure out the D.
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'm sure it could stand for "dang", for some, at times, too. :p
     
  12. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    The way I look it, most principals have the means to purchase the supplies and may even have them stashed away. It never hurts to ask. If you don't ask, someone else will and beat you to the punch! It's really not necessary to develop a relationship (i.e. like him) before asking for help. In fact, his answer to your request will help you understand what kind of person he is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  13. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Nope. Gotta have the relationship first.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Isn't that was supply lists given to the students is for?
     
  15. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Most principals where? Not here. Our district is chronically underfunded due to very unfair state funding. Our principal makes sure to get us started with a few supplies (that she picks - generally stuff like a pad of chart paper, a pack of markers, chalk, etc) and a case of paper and other than that (and our $100 reimbursement each year for supplies) we are on our own.

    That said, I have finally gotten myself organized enough at school and with my plans and everything that I need far less stuff this year. I've ordered a few things from Amazon, will likely buy another case or two of paper once a good sale comes up.

    We do send a supply list and many of our kids do a good job preparing, but some have a hard time even though we've pared our list down to be pretty minimal and cost-conscious. I plan to stock up on spiral grid paper notebooks when I go school supply shopping for my own children. I find since they aren't at every store easy to find that it can often be easier to buy a bunch and have kids give me a couple bucks to cover the cost. The grid paper is super important for pre-algebra/ algebra so I'm a stickler about that.
     
  16. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    My school has students of every back ground from different areas. Some students could use $100 bills as toilet paper, and others can barely afford to get to school let alone supplies and things. I always keep a stash of supplies in my prep room – all the science teachers do. I'd rather spend money out of my pocket to provide students than to wave around a school supply list like it's the Constitution.
     
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  17. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I buy the fancy/special things that I like, such as unique paper clips, specific brand of pens, etc... I also buy tissues, hand sanitizer, and Clorox wipes, which are not provided by the school. I took advantage of the thing target did and already stocked up for this year!

    Anything the kids are using or that I don't care about getting something specific goes on my list that the Secretary collects each year. She puts in one big order and then sorts it out for all of us. Things on that list include tape, staples, white out, pens and pencils for my students, etc...
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Each site in my district has a supply closet. When teachers need something, they ask one of the secretaries. When we're low on something, my office manager orders it and I sign off on the order. I don't hoard supplies nor do I stash things away for my favorite people. Everything goes through the clerical staff.
     
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  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We cannot ask, or expect, students to bring supplies, although many do.
    Each teacher gets a (quite generous) budget allotment for consumable supplies--paper, pencils, notebooks, etc. I do sometimes spend a bit of my own money on things that I know I can't get through our vendors.
     
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    My principals (P and VP’s) supply everything and when I say everything I do mean everything. It’s a beautiful thing!
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I always copy and paste all of your brilliant ideas for when I go into administration. You’re so efficient, haha!
     
  22. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Have you cleared this with your principal? I believe collecting money from students in this manner is illegal.
     
  23. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Yes. It is something our principal has recommended previously. Why would it be illegal?
     
  24. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    I may have spoken too soon. Perhaps the laws regarding school fees differs from state to state. This article is about current restrictions that apply to California public schools
     
  25. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    This is ridiculous! Makes me glad I work in a private school because I don’t have to deal with this nonsense.
     
  26. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Yeah this is a state by state thing. We don't have laws like that here. We also don't REQUIRE them to bring the supplies - if a kid just doesn't/ can't then I usually do supply it myself. However, my school does NOT supply it in that case, I do personally.

    Most kids bring what we ask or are happy to give me a few bucks for the convenience of not having to search out the right kind of notebook.
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    It seems like every year more and more is expected for free. Breakfast, lunch (for some),school supplies, sometimes schools give kids clothing. Are we going to send them home with dinner too?
     
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  28. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Agreed. I student taught in a low-income school where most of my kids were responsible with their supplies. My mentor teacher also did not provide extra pencils, etc. The kids would have to borrow a pencil or used a colored pencil, so most kids learned that they needed to bring a pencil to class. I honestly feel that if a kid can afford an iphone, expensive headphones, and $200 shoes, then they can bring a binder and pencil to class.
     
  29. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    I would routinely ask about the cost of my students clothing (I know it's not PC) out of curiosity. This was at a super low SES school district in one of the poorest parts of the state. To give you an idea, the district had it's own mobile dental clinic ($200,000) that routinely made its rounds to all the schools. Anyway, the expensive jerseys ($60), watches ($50), shoes ($100+), pants ($50) made one wonder why so many of them qualified for free meals and snacks, free bikes, free holiday meals, free shoes and clothing, free tutoring services, free dental and medical care, free telephones . . .
     
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  30. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I guess my question is, how many $60 jersey's do they own? 10? How about watches? 15? How about shoes? 5?

    Sure, the families could be better about what they spend their money on, but it won't make up for the cost of medical/dental costs and insurance, the cost of a cell phone with service, etc. Many of those costs are so high, that the costs of those frivolous buys won't touch the costs of the services they get for free.

    The other issue is that if the families save money, the services are taken away and they don't have the money to pay for the services because the cost is too great.

    Our help for the poor is broken like just about every social service in our country. If a family has 2000K in the bank, their services are removed. The system is designed for what you see and not designed to help people really get ahead.

    It is frustrating to see these things when so many sacrifice wants to pad their savings for later or to just get by living just ahead of the poverty line.
     
  31. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Precisely. “I can afford to buy little Johnny’s $500 pair of shoes and get him the latest iCrap, but I can’t afford to buy him pencils and paper! What am I to do?!”
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  32. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Be careful, you are far too logical and sensible! The current generation and my generation thinks everything should be free and they shouldn’t have to work so they can get their EBT (extreme bum transaction) card.
     
  33. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Why is quantity important? The fact that I once bought an unused pair of $250 shoes for just $2 at a thrift shop and don't wear a $1,000 Rolex are a reflection of my spending priorities. You can bet when they outgrow their expensive shoes and clothing, they just go out to buy more - at least, that's what I noticed.
     
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  34. a2z

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    I guess quantity isn't any more important than them having these items at all since you can buy a $250 pair of shoes at a thrift store for $2.

    I guess I am now wondering about the validity of your complaint about poor people having nice things when you point out they don't have to cost a lot. So, why is it bad for them to have them?

    My point about quantity is that it takes a lot of the "luxury" items to pay for some of the things that you complain that they get for free and these expenses are every month if they were not free. If you were to say if they had none of these items they could afford all of the services you are complaining about them having for free, I could see the point. But they could do without all of these things and still not be able to get out of poverty, partly because the system is designed to not allow them to get out of poverty.

    You pointed out $260 dollars worth of stuff. Same kid? Well $260 dollars won't pay for health insurance for the family. So, unless these kids are getting multiples of these items or new ones every month, these items won't put a dent in the position their family is in. So, that is why I pointed out quantity. Then you also have to factor in the fact that some of the items would require some cost, such as shoes and pants because you can't always find those things that fit at the thrift shop. So the net result is probably under $200 for the items.

    And honestly, year ago, kids had to bring very little to school, if anything. It was supplied by the school. Now our local elementary, middle and high school's lists for the students rack up bills close to $100/kid. Yes, the schools put the brand they want on the list. Between the Clorox wipes, Ziplock bags in multiple sizes, Trapper Keeper binders one year and a different type the next year, 3 inch binders, pencils, markers, crayons, glue sticks, elmer's glue, specific types of notebooks with a certain number of pages, loose leaf paper, composition notebooks, page protectors, tab dividers, pencil pouch, water colors, paint brush, pink pearl eraser, white eraser, and on and on.

    I guess I have to ask why any school should require that of parents when all we needed at most growing up was a pack of crayons (8) and a pencil with eraser.
     
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  35. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    You seem to miss the point. Everyone is entitled to have "nice things" regardless of their SES. However, a healthy financial attitude is to "live within one's means" - not a popular practice these days. I mentioned my thrift shop experience only to share a viable option for those who wish to watch their spending and enjoy having nice things. I didn't realize just how expensive those $2 shoes were until I got home and looked them up on the internet! BTW, I don't believe I ever expressed an actual "complaint about poor people having nice things". I simply commented about what I had observed, similar to what Ms. Holyoke and TeacherNY had said. I noticed that you didn't bother to respond to their comments.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  36. a2z

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    So, why do you ask them? Curiosity is not a real reason. Curiosity always has a motive behind it. Also, why point out they have nice things when getting free services when those free things would never pay for the free services they received nor can you be sure how they obtained those items? Doing so comes with implied judgement.
     
  37. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I think what Been There is trying to say is that it does not logically make sense for parents to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on expensive goods like luxury clothing and fancy iPhones, but they can’t go to the Dollar Store, for instance, to buy pencils and paper along with other school supplies for their kid(s). That’s what my parents did. How is it difficult to spend a couple of dollars for school supplies?
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  38. a2z

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    As I said, our local supply lists are upwards of $100/ kid. Also, many parents came from a time where schools supplied all necessary items. To them, schools asking for supplies is out of the norm. Why should parents have to buy supplies when the school is supposed to provide a free education?

    I guess I have to ask what many other teachers are asking, why is it that schools aren't supplying the basic necessities for students to receive an education? The district gets that new turf field but can't supply paper and pencils.
     
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  39. Been There

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    You're right. Adults are rarely curious for the sake of curiosity. I must admit, I was being a bit nosey. I envy those rare individuals who can interact with their students without passing judgement, regardless of whether their clothes are in tatters or are the newest designer-label brands.
     
  40. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Because it shouldn’t be the school’s responsibility, nor should it be the taxpayer’s responsibility to buy students school supplies. That’s their parent’s job. My parents never spent more than $40/year on school supplies for me from the Dollar Store and I had excess at the end. Paper comes in huge packs, as do pencils, pens, scissors, glue sticks, etc.

    Times have changed. More supplies are needed now. As technology change and curricular change, so do the supplies needed for each.
     
  41. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    We will have to disagree. Taxpayers pay for what is necessary to educate students. If that means they need paper and pencils to learn and demonstrate learning, that is part of their education. If a teacher decides they need specific supplies to do an assignment, then it is on the school to provide those items since the school is dictating that supplies are needed for the chosen task.

    Supplies are at the whim of the teacher and what he or she chooses to assign. There are many ways to educate with minimal supplies. Just because a teacher decides she needs a 40 count of gallon sized ziplock bags in order to educate the students doesn't mean that it is really necessary. Nor should a family have to provide those items.
     
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