Tissues, Soap, Sanitizer, etc

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mollydoll, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    How can I get kids to each bring one of these items in? They go through the stuff so quickly. I CANNOT afford to provide all of these things all year long. The supplies I brought in 3 weeks ago have been gone for over a week. I absolutely cannot spent $50+/month on tissues and hand sanitizer. The kids are so wasteful, especially with tissues. And there are globs of hand sanitizer on the counter.

    I have already bought paper, white board markers, pencils, crayola markers, posters, etc for the kids. I do not mind bringing in occasional supplies, but there has to be a limit. I am not teaching in a poor area. While there may be some kids who are economically disadvantaged, many more of the kids are well travelled, have iphones, Coach purses, and the like, not to mention spending several dollars at snack time each day. They can afford one $2 item for the semester.

    We are expected to have tissues, soap and hand sanitizer in our classrooms, but the school does not provide any. I have asked and asked for the kids to just each pick one item to bring in and nobody will.

    Suggestions? :eek:
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    We're not supposed to, but some teachers will give a couple of points of extra credit if kids bring in tissues, etc. Personally, I won't do that. At back to school night I put some post-its on my door for a few things I'd like to have and hope parents will take them, and I make a low-key pitch for donations to the classroom fund. I only got one donation this year, but it was for $40, and that will keep me in tissues for a while. I still have hand sanitizer left over from last year. BTW, I noticed that Costco now has it in huge refill bottles.
     
  4. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I'm surprised your school isn't providing those things this year. My school didn't last year, but with the H1N1 scare, they are providing them. Last year, we got like 2 of each through the teacher supplies person - this year maintenance is handling it, and you get them pretty much immediately! I love it!!

    If you have no other recourse (no classroom budget, etc.), and Back To School Night has passed so you can't lean on the parents, then I'd send a note home. The kids probably aren't even remembering to ask mom and dad. Send a note, saying that you are asking in order to look out for the health of the entire class - which INCLUDES their child. State point blank that if they bring in tissues and hand sanitizer, they can use the ones in the classroom. Otherwise, mom and dad better send in a box with them when they're sick or they'll be coming home with red noses from blowing their noses on the nasty bathroom paper towels. I wouldn't be that blunt, but you get the idea. AND stick to your guns. You can give extra points, too, if you'd rather take a nicer approach towards things. Honestly, though, I'd have the attitude of "if you don't contribute, you don't get to benefit". My kids wasted my tissues so much last year that I reached point where I stopped buying them. I had my own personal box, kept in my drawer, for me only. Same thing with the sanitizer. They all started either bringing in their own as needed or dealing with what was in the bathrooms. A few weeks of this (in cold season), and the next time I put out community boxes/bottles, they were much more careful about wasting it. I guess they hated the bathroom towels enough!
     
  5. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Oh, and let me add: I always buy my nice aloe plus tissues for me that I keep put away...but for the kids? If you're footing the bill, buy the cheapest ones you can - on sale. Same for the hand sanitizer - IF you decide to splurge by providing it. I wouldn't though - most kids have the $.99 travel size ones anyway.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Tell them they will use rough paper towels if they don't bring in tissues.
    Last year, we ran out, and I told them they will have to use their sleeves. They were using paper towels and krinkling them up to make them 'soft'. I got a few boxes after a few days of that.

    It has to be hard in HS to get that kind of stuff.


    Oh- had an idea. Do you have their parents' email addresses? You could send an e-mail if so.
     
  7. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    A hint to save sanitizer is to twist a rubber band around the top so it won't go down as far when they pump it. That helps prevent the extra wasting.

    My parents have been bringing all those items in at my request because they don't want their children sick. Can you make it part of the homework one week - a free homework pass if you bring in X?
     
  8. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I did include the request on the supply list. Maybe I will see if my department is ok with me sending another little note home.

    I know I can get the stuff at Costco. But as a matter of principle, I am not going to do it. I have my own expenses. Why should I have to buy this stuff for them instead of something fun for myself? They are capable of providing something and I don't want to set the precedent now of just replacing stuff. Also, I think that if THEY bring it in, they will make use of the supplies more responsibly.

    Even the school nurse only gets a tiny, limited supply of tissues.
     
  9. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    When one of my parents makes a nice donation of something for the class, I made a HUGE deal of it and put a big picture of their kid holding the donated item(s) in my weekly newsletter. Hey, everyone wants to see pictures of their own child in the newsletters, right? Sometimes that generates more donations.
     
  10. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    I guess that's a benefit of elementary...I put it on their supply list.
    My son's highschool teachers give extra credit for tissues.
    My daughter's middle school supply list had tissue and hand sanitizer for their advisory period.
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I would ask if your school could supply these for your classroom-- my school is willing to do so and we actually also installed hand sanitizer dispensers around the school this year.

    I bought myself a big container of hand sanitizer and a big container of disinfecting wipes from Sam's Club for about $15 all together. I then keep each on my desk and the students know they have to ask me first. Since I also have soap and sinks in my classroom I opt to have the kids use that first if possible (especially if they're coming in from outside or gym).

    If not, I would write up a letter to the parents of your classroom (WITH the permission of your principal of course) and ask that parents please donate supplies for your classroom. You could sign up one or two parents a month to split the cost (who are willing to help) and then rotate.
     
  12. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    Oh, and another idea. . .
    The churches in our area are always happy to support our school and our students. We have only to ask. Would organizations in your area be willing to provide such basic things as tissues and hand sanitizer?
     
  13. Historyteaching

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    We had those Purell hand sanitizer foam dispensers put in all our rooms on the wall this year.
     
  14. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    The school can't REQUIRE you to have anything they aren't willing to pay for. Don't buy any except for your personal use and see what happens.
     
  15. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Well, we all know how "expectations" can be... The school has no budget for any of this stuff.

    I'll see how it goes next week. Maybe when we are totally out, the kids will be more likely to bring stuff in.
     
  16. 49erteacher

    49erteacher Rookie

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    My kids managed to go through one box of tissues in two days! I am now making a point of saying that they need to bring in tissues, or they won't be using them.

    If they bring them, I plan to store them in the classroom (the original ones went to the whole school). I can't use the school supply if they are wasting them that much!

    I could monitor use more, but I don't feel like I have time to be the dispenser of tissues!
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    A local bank bought enough sanitizer for each of our classrooms to have one of the HUGE bottles.

    I buy Kleenex for myself. I buy dollar store toilet paper for the kids. It works fine, and it's much cheaper. I bought a 20 roll pack at the dollar store for $5, and it lasted me all year.
     
  18. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    HA! I love this idea. Each day before school, go to the bathroom and roll off a decent stack of those brown paper towels. Then have a note attached to the hand sanitizer listing the students who donated supplies, therefore may use the supplies. You will find that you will either get a LOT of donations, or your students will suddenly no longer need to blow their noses every 10 minutes. :)

    For any students who truly cannot afford to bring anything in, ask them to donate one 15 minutes before or after school working off a donation. They can straighten rows, sharpen pencils, etc...
     
  19. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    My former middle school did not supply anything like that for the classrooms; it was entirely and 100% up to the teachers. I bought supplies at the Dollar Tree. I always had tissues, sanitizer, and lotion on a little table for my students. A dollar for a huge box of tissues each week isn't that big a deal, and I made them use the sanitizer if they used one of my tissues.

    Sorry, but I do not believe in asking families for "supplies," as you all well know.

    If the teacher is not willing to do it, let the kids use the brown paper towels.

    I don't blame teachers for not wanting to put out the money for such things, but life isn't always fair. I considered my classroom as a kind of extension of myself, and I wanted it to be perfect for me and for my students.

    Our restrooms' "sanitary supplies" dispenser was always empty, and desperate girls would come to my room in tears; how could I not keep supplies for them? In the bottom drawer of my file cabinet, they knew they could always find bandaids, sanitary supplies, thread, needles (counted and used only w. permission). I also kept those brown lunch bags in the drawer so the girls could put the tampon or napkin in there instead of risk being seen carrying it down the hallway.

    I used to keep cough drops in a bowl until they were labeled "drugs" by some idiot. Ditto the wax kids used to ease the pain after their braces were tightened, also now a drug. Go figure.

    Keeping your classroom supplied like this is part of the job. Deal.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yes, I too am surprised about your school not supplying these things. I would send a letter home to parents stating the truth, that the school does NOT supply these items that are actually necessary for THEIR children to help stay healthy at school and although you use your own money as much as you can, it would be extremely appreciated if the parents help contribute too. After all, it's THEIR kids that they should want to stay healthy while at school. Also, in the letter, give your list of items you need and state that any contributions they can give THROUGHOUT the year would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, a couple of weeks before you're off from Christmas vacation, send home a letter stating that to those who were going to buy a gift for the teacher, you'd rather them give any of the following & state your list of items they can give.
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    We found that we can reduce the amount of hand sanitizer by either putting the rubber band on the plunger, as stated by the pp, or by moving the liquid into a deco soap bottle from the bathroom aisle. These have a much smaller squirt and it works with our tiny hands. Maybe it will help with your wasteful ones?
     
  22. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    We have to provide our own,. We were not even allowed to add anything to the VERY basic supply list. NO wish lists allowed.Luckily, I had some tissues and germ-x left from last year!! I had 1 student bring hand sanitizer and tissues this year! My neighbor uses toilet paper-though it may run out also!!:) I will provide it, as I do paper, pencils, glue,etc. In 2nd grade it's hard not to. Though, then it becomes an issue of many families expecting us to....no easy answers....:)
     
  23. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Great idea on the rubber band, scmom. I'll have to try it!
     
  24. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Thanks. Have I mentioned that my FIRST pay check is still 2 weeks away? I have also already spent well over $200 on academic related and lab supplies and another $100 turning the empty cinder block room into someplace nice for the kids. I will also most likely need to pay for any lab supplies that I might want as we have almost nothing. To do some things that I want to do, this is going to be a considerable expense. I am not complaining about that. However, I have student loans, tuition, and my own expenses. I can't/won't spend ALL of my money on my classroom. I did an initial stock of sanitary supplies and they were quickly wasted. I don't really feel it necessary to spend all year paying for this, especially when I do not work in a school of have nots. And especially when what I do provide isn't even respected.

    So maybe I am a selfish #%#$%, but I can find better uses for my money than to constantly replace supplies that the kids are capable of helping with or providing their own.
     
  25. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Why is this not on your school supply list?

    Can they use tissue paper from the restroom?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  26. mdith4him

    mdith4him Companion

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    I agree with you on keeping sanitary supplies for girls in your classroom, especially if you teach middle or high school. We all know how upsetting it is to be caught "off guard" so to speak and girls who aren't quite used to it yet would be even more upset, I'm sure. Those type of supplies, though, wouldn't be used up as fast as tissues or hand sanitizer, right?

    I disagree with you, however, about teachers being obliged to supply tissues, etc. for the classroom. I view my classroom like a family. Everyone has a job to do because there's no way I could take care of everything. One of the kids' jobs is to be responsible and healthy. Use a tissue (not your sleeve) when you need to. Keep germs away by using sanitizer or soap. I think asking parents for these types of supplies is completely reasonable. They can see the obvious benefit for their own child, so why not contribute? Parents are a part of the classroom "family," too. Unless you lived in a very needy area (which some of us do), most families can afford to donate a box of tissues and/or a bottle of hand sanitizer.
     
  27. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Why is keeping the classroom supplied with student supplies my job? I always sent in the kleenex, paper towels, hand sanitizer,
    Chlorax wipes, and any other supplies my children's teachers asked for. I am not going to also supply those for my classroom. I do not give bonus points for bringing in those items and I do buy an initial set so they have all those necessary supplies on the first day of class until they start bringing them to replenish the supply. I could afford to purchase these things but why should I spend that money. I also teach science and already pay for most of the consumables that are used in the labs because my school does not charge any sort of lab fee.
     
  28. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    You are not a selfish #%#$%, you are a single person trying to survive on a teachers salary and should not be expected to supply your work place. My husband is an engineer and has assistants that do not need a college degree and they start at $36,000 per year. That is about $10,000 more that a first year teacher starts at with 4years of college (at least) in the same area. He would not dream of asking his employees to provide staples, kleenex, or any other office supplies to do their job. It is not even questioned, it is just automatically purchased by his company and put in a central supply closet for anyone in need to use. Why as teachers are we expected to purchase the supplies that are needed by our students? If the school population cannot afford the basic supplies, then it should be supplied by the school.
     
  29. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I agree with the pp. I may not teach something like science where I have labs to pay for, but I supply enough myself. I buy extra materials, so that I can be the best at my job as possible. I run to Staples at 8:00pm when the ONE school copier we have is broken (as it has been more than it's been working the last month). I have to buy my own red pens, my own hole puncher, my own posters, markers, etc... I don't receive any money for my classroom. I go through my allotted $250 tax break before the school year even starts! I'm sorry, but if I don't want to spend my money on buying tissues when students go through over a box a week, I don't think I should feel "required" to. Honestly, where does it say in any of our contracts that we must buy tissues? It's the teacher's prerogative, if the school doesn't pay for it. I should not be obligated to spend a dime of my money on the classroom. If I choose to spend it, then it's my choice and I can't complain. With it being my money, I need to choose what I'm willing to buy and what I'm not. If I have a choice between having copies of handouts and tests or buying tissues, I'll choose the former. It's up to each of us to determine what the limit of our spending is and what is more important to spend our money on.

    Honestly, unless you work in a really low SES district, then the families can spend $5.00 bucks to get 2 boxes of tissue and 1 container of hand sanitizer a year. I'm sorry, but your kid's cell phone is newer than mine, his sneakers are newer than mine, he has a wii, and you bought him a $20.00 binder. Obviously, you can afford $5.00 bucks for tissues. If you're not willing to share with the class, then fine: give him his own box to carry around. But don't expect that I can afford the $5.00 for every student that walks through my door.

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but I do get kids who claim they can't buy a pencil or notebook, yet they have all the latest doo-dads and gadgets. The kids who really can't afford it are a different story. The families who just aren't teaching their kids about priorities and necessities vs. luxuries upset me.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If you choose not to buy them, then don't buy them. When the kids ask where they are, reply "Sorry, but we're all out of tissues."

    Honestly, I prefer to supply cheap tissues to the alternative- listening to the kids sniffling and snorting, or having half a dozen kids leave to go to the bathroom and get TP. So supplying tissues is what works for me. (I don't bother with sanitizer; I've simply never gotten into the habit of using it.) But when we suddenly go through what's left of my supply and I'm taken by surprise, that's what happens. And everyone survives.
     
  31. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    That's a wonderful idea. My students let me squirt it into their hands so I know how much each of them is getting and I also model for them the amount that they need.
     
  32. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I snag a roll of TP out of the restroom at school and have that on my desk for the kids.
     
  33. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I didn't call anyone names; I just stated my opinion and shared how I handled my own classroom. It was a middle school, and no doubt the older students did not waste such things as small children might be apt to do. I never once felt "obligated" to have these things for my kids; I just knew it would be a more comfortable environment WITH them. Other teachers on my floor did not feel this way; their kids often came into my room and asked for a tissue or a bandaid.

    Our office kept these things, but the women in there were always so overworked that they frequently treated my kids as if they were intruders and rather than subject a child who simply needed to blow his nose or cover a raw scratch to such treatment, I just kept these things handy in the classroom.

    And while I did all of this, I had to supply my own two children with THEIR supplies, send in their share of such things to their teachers when they had one who didn't do as I did, send my husband to graduate school, and pay all the bills, on less than $20,00 a year. It can be done if you know how to budget.

    But as I said before, teachers who don't want to, don't HAVE to. Nobody made me do it; I just saw the need and filled it. Seven daily academic classes of over thirty-five students each, grades 6, 7, and 8, went through a box of kleenex a week, and sometimes as many as three in cold/flu season. At a buck a box, it didn't break me. I didn't have time to eat lunch anyway, since we only had 23 minutes for that. I just figured I was helping my kids out and they were helping me lose weight.

    The Dollar Tree sure helped, too.

    The math teacher next door to me told her kids to use their sleeves or wait 'till their next potty run. Um, no. That just wasn't my way. We're all different. Run your classroom however you want.

    But don't accuse me of calling names unless you want me to actually do it. I'm good at that; I was an English major.

    All of this fuss over a dollar box of tissues. What have we left for axe murder and terrorism?
     
  34. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    No fuss. I was simply looking for advice on how to get the kids to contribute. I already have an "emergency" stash of band aids and female products. I just spent $60 on a class set of maps for the kids to use. Sure, I could "budget in" $20 for tissues, sanitizer, etc or go without lunch, but the kids need these things and they are old enough to be responsible. I would like to help facilitate that instead of just easily handing them everything.

    So: back to my original question:

    I won't do bonus points or similar because I think those need to be reserved for academically related things, but I would like each kid to bring in ONE item, even if it is just a .60 box of generic tissues. How would you encourage this? A sign up list maybe?
     
  35. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    The first post stated that "teachers are expected to have tissues, soap, sanitizer" in their classrooms. Is this stated in your contract that you are required to buy these items? I'm expected to arrive on time, teach the curriculum,and not leave prior to the appointed time. These are stated in my contract so I do them. My union would be on this personal buying in one minute. By the way, my school provides tissues (we just go to the nurse's office and take as many boxes as we need) tell the custodian when the soap dispenser is empty in our room if we have a sink, and if I want the kids to use hand sanitizer it is my decision to buy it and have it available to them.
     
  36. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Ok. I give up. I am so sorry that I started this thread. All I wanted was some helpful advice on how to get 15-18 yrs old to take some personal responsibility for this health related issue. Instead it is a discussion on why teachers should spend their own money without complaint, what is/isn't included in contracts and nitpicking on language used when asking the question.
     
  37. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I'm sorry, Mollydoll. I shouldn't have preached. I just got a little upset when it seemed to be suggested that this sort of thing is expected. Sorry to all for getting on the soapbox.

    As far as the advice goes, I stick by my suggestion of a letter and an "allowed users" list. I feel it's the only way (save giving points, which you said you want to avoid) to make sure that the parents GET your request and that the kids who don't contribute don't take advantage of the kids who do contribute.
     
  38. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I would not give them bonus points because like you, I only do bonus if it has an academic purpose. I would simply announce to each class that as a part of the classroom community, they need to sign up to bring something to contribute. I do not know how much you will get but it is worth a try. I would not buy the stuff myself, I would simply bring in a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom.
     

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