Students and their supplies.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ZoomZoomZOOM, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I have a small class because I teach self-contained special needs. I still always have 1-2 students that come to school with either no supplies or the wrong supplies or not enough supplies. For those of you that teach general education and have twice the students I do, I'm wondering how you handle the lack of supplies. Do you run out to Staples on their sale day and buy a few of everything on your list so you're prepared? Do you wait until you find out how many kiddos are in need and go out then? Does your school provide for them so you don't have to? Or do you just make due with what you have?

    I had a kiddo last year that was heart broken because every other kiddo in the class had tons of new stuff and he had nothing. I wanted to provide materials for him so he wouldn't feel left out but he said his mom would be sending his supplies the following day. It was awkward. I think she did end up sending a few things the following day and then I provided the rest.
     
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  3. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I'm not a teacher yet--I'm still in college, but I think it would be a great idea to talk with the parents before school even starts. Inform them of the supplies and the importance of the supplies. Maybe even tell the parents in a generic nice way the social importance of their child being well prepared the very first day.

    Then, the week before, touch base with the parents again and say something along the lines, "I can't wait for everyone to walk through the front doors on the first day of school! I'm sure you are all exercising those "signing" fingers already for all the paperwork! Also, I would like to remind you about the school supplies list. If for any reason time just isn't being polite to you this week, please let me know so I can have the school prepare a few essentials for the first day!"

    Obviously make it seem very polite, and say "school" instead of yourself, because that might make the parent feel bad or embarrassed. And yes, you will most likely have to provide the money for the supplies--some districts do provide some money for teachers for supplies. I've heard some districts provide anywhere from $10-$200.

    I hope any of that helped!
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I usually have anywhere from two to seven kids who show up with absolutely nothing. I don't think it's because they are unaware of the social importance of having supplies. Some honestly cannot afford them, and some parents do not see their children's education as their job so they don't think they should have to supply anything (I have been told this by more than one parent). So far, I've always bought extras because I hate to see kids suffer due to family circumstances or opinions. I'm debating about buying extras this year or trying to get supplies from charities or donations.

    We send a list home with the previous grade's last report card, have it posted on the website, printed in the paper, and copies are put out at stores.
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I always buy extras. We have meet the teacher the Thursday before school and encourage parents to bring supplies then. Probably 85% of the kids bring it that night. By now I have a decent supply of extras and only need to buy a few things.
     
  6. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Or $0, as in my case. I do have a supply closet but it's always locked. There are strict limits, it's not like I can grab 7 scissors or whatever. BUT, I'm thankful to have one, my other schools didn't!
     
  7. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I usually buy several of the cheaper supplies when they are on sale in the summer. The area churches do a HUGE back to school bash before school and give tons of supplies and free hair cuts. I think this is great, but often times the supplies aren't exact. Usually the churches give all the extra supplies to the school so I can go raid that. Our counselor will get anything else we need.

    One of the teachers I work with always keeps a checklist of the required supplies and which kid brings what. She bugs them for several days before she tries to find supplies for them. I usually just make a note of what is needed and quietly get it for the kids. If they end up bringing something the next day I just add it to the extras.

    I do admit I probably spend too much of my own money on my classroom, but it makes me happy to help the kids. My favorite commercial of all time was the Office Depot or Office Max commercial where the husband and wife were discussing finances at their house and she was trying to justify the money she spent on her classroom. At the end of the commercial she is at the store and looks across to the other check out line and sees her husband buying school supplies. I still get teary when I think of that commercial. Any one know how to find that commercial online?
     
  8. lcr

    lcr Companion

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    Aug 2, 2013

    I buy some of the school supplies myself before school even starts. The kids need them and supplies are expensive. Wal-mart donates a lot of supplies to our school, so that helps.
    Sm2teach, what a great commercial. I am lucky in that my husband was a teacher before changing jobs and totally understands.
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Aug 2, 2013

    Usually up to half my class will come sans supplies. I purchase supplies each summer. This year, I have purchased about 60 composition books (at 25 cents each at Office Depot this week), 40 plastic 2-prong pocket folders (50 cents each at Walmart), 30 laminated 2-pocket folders (17 cents each at Walmart) and 1 pink, 1 blue, and 1 yellow ream of paper (2 dollars each at Office Depot this week). Oh, and 8 bottles of Elmer's glue (50 cents each at Walmart). I also discovered 12 mint condition 1" black binders in a locker in my new classroom, so I only had to purchase 8 more (I like to do "class sets" of 20 to be prepared.

    Luckily, I still have plenty of pencils, color pencils, markers, crayons, and scissors left over from last year, so my supply purchases have been smaller!

    I have found that, if I want the kids to have something specific (brand, size, whatever), I should purchase them myself :(. If students actually bring it in, I put it in the closet and save it when it is needed.

    Oh, and I get my student list 2 days before students arrive, and don't have the opportunity to meet parents until the first day of school (if they happen to come) or on Back to School night (for 10 minutes, about a month after school starts.
     
  10. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Aug 2, 2013

    Since I end up picking up extra supplies, plus I also have some from previous years, I provide it to students who need it. There's also the option of sending them to the counselor because she is in charge of supplying for students who are in need.
     

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