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Supplying students

 
 
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2014 05:49 am
The narrative below came in response to a meme which states that teachers are the only professionals who steal supplies from home to take to work.

When some of the first cuts were made by Massachusetts to teacher supply funds, I happened to be in a Building 19, a chain of salvage stores. A group of women had come in together, at least 3 but I think there may have been five. They were teachers at the same elementary school buying pencils, crayons, markers, rulers and some of each of the kinds of paper available.
I spoke with them. They were paying out of their own pockets. This had to be at least 20 years ago. While they were mature women who surely had years of teaching behind them, they certainly weren't in the top two earning quintiles.
Not that long after, I substituted in a local school district. What ever happened to parents buying supplies for their kids? Why are schools expected to purchase all the paper and pencils kids need? The Republicans like to call themselves the party of personal responsibility but the bottom line issue, along with standardized testing, have worked to degrade our schools. I also wonder how many right wing parents, who want economic efficiency from schools, feel they can send their kids to classes without notebooks and pens.
This same school system limited the books the kids read in high school English classes to the battered paperbacks in the storage room. Teachers rotated them through the school year, although at least those students were taught real literature, real writing and knew the difference between a novel and a biography. However, the books were falling apart and some of the kids did not want to touch them because they were so frail and dirty. Frankly, I could not blame them.
I want to ask: how many corporations offer their employees half legal pads and the clean sides of computer paper to load upside down in printers and copying machines? How many lawyers and accountants shop at Building 19 and its ilk for supplies?
 
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2014 02:53 pm
@plainoldme,
Let's keep the issues straight.

Little Johnny's parents were relieved of the duty to provide kids with school necessities long ago, so don't blame this on any political party - although the schools now have to provide free breakfast and lunch for kids, so parents don't even have to do that now. Whose programs are those?

School supplies used to be provided to the children by the school district. Now, where they were supposed to find the funds for that, I would not know.

In my community there are all kinds of groups collecting backpacks, paper, pencils, folders, crayons, etc etc. for kids. Agencies are falling over themselves to give donated school supplies to kids.

My husband taught middle school for 36 years. Some kids came to class not prepared to learn. They can't even sit still and take no instruction from adults. They wouldn't keep a pencil from class to class if it were provided for them anyway.

My taxes pay for teachers, buildings, administration, busses, etc. although in some districts, that's mismanaged, too.

I don't feel I need to buy anyone's kids crayons, too. Look to the parents to participate in SOME way, please.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2014 03:24 pm
How odd. Around here, parents receive a list of what their children need, and at least one of the big box stores will help you fill that list. I don't know, maybe this only applies to the lower grades.

I'm sure some of the a2k parents were expected to give money to teachers for supplies.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2014 09:38 pm
@roger,
Here too, roger!
In SoCal, parents get a list and are off to Target to buy their kids school supply. When my daughter was in elementary school, the school offered to get all school supplies for the kids for a specific amount. It was convenient for me to just pay and not have to run around stores. My daughter received all her school supplies on the first day wrapped with a cute bow and a small toy attached. Couldn't have been better! Parents paid for it though, no teacher did nor the school administration.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2014 10:52 pm
@CalamityJane,
Actually, I'm fairly sure I heard about that from either you or Boomerang. Didn't want to say so and be completely wrong.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 11:56 am
in my district we spend $12,150 a year per kid between the cost of running the district and the cost of the facilities budget. Come up with some classroom supplies I say, this should be doable.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2014 02:47 pm
@roger,
roger is correct. I live in Massachusetts and every year I have a list of school supplies to collect and buy for my children (middle and high school). Some of these supplies are shared with the classroom/with teacher.
I also contribute annually to providing a backpack with school supplies to low income children.

My children do not receive anything free from the school - the pay for lunches, field trips, etc. I am not sure where this rant is from - I even pay for the bus for my high schooler, and any sports teams she plays on and anything else they are involved in via the public school system.

My daughter does not bring home battered paper backs and/or have limited books to read for English. Her teacher even offerred to give me an extra book as I told her I like to read along with her on the novels she is given to read in school. I honestly do not know what your rant is about and if you truely have your information correct.

And to top it off, I do know an inner school teacher that teaches in Boston and have never heard her complain about any of what you are stating - battered books, having to purchase her own supplies, etc. And this teacher is a very strong Republican.
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2014 02:56 pm
I've heard of teachers collecting $5 from each student and the teacher goes out and buys supplies for all the students.

Why does the government mandate ITSELF to provide education for all children when it really can't?
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2014 03:06 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
My children do not receive anything free from the school - the pay for lunches, field trips, etc. I even pay for the bus for my high schooler, and any sports teams she plays on and anything else they are involved in via the public school system.

I also contribute annually to providing a backpack with school supplies to low income children.


We did that too! In addition, my daughter had about 7 books she needed to read over the summer - all bought by
ourselves. Most of the books we gave either as donation to our local library or to the school for kids whose parents couldn't afford to buy them.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2014 03:18 pm
@CalamityJane,
CalamityJane wrote:

We did that too! In addition, my daughter had about 7 books she needed to read over the summer - all bought by
ourselves. Most of the books we gave either as donation to our local library or to the school for kids whose parents couldn't afford to buy them.


And our back packs are donated via the greedy corporation (aka via work). And yes corporations are cutting back on work supplies -- the type of supplies are limited (only the cheaper pens; certain type of calendars) -- paper printing is limited -- supposed to be a paperless environment.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2014 05:01 pm
@plainoldme,
When I was teaching there were at times students who did not have the financial means to purchase certain items for the class. It seemed to me to just be the thing to do, to reach into my pockets and help them along so they would not lose out on part of their education. Other teachers did similar.

Families don't always have a great deal of money. One parent/guardian households are more common than they once were and the costs have risen while incomes have not. After clothing and feeding a child, adding on the cost of all the supplies can be an impossibility or very close to it.

The way I saw it, and still do, is that the teacher has a responsibility to give their all and if that meant spending a few dollars for some students, then that was what had to be done. I didn't grump about it, I just did it. My reason for teaching was to introduce a new generation to ideas and to hope and possibility of a good future. If I was not willing to invest more than just classroom time, then I didn't belong there.

When it comes to bringing the children the best possible education, we all need to be involved and often this means involving ourselves directly, beyond just paying taxes. Donate books, supplies and/or time (tutoring for example). Whatever you can do, give it a whirl and try doing it with a smile.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2014 05:31 am
@Sturgis,
Yes - I agree - it is a small thing to fill a pack back with school supplies while you are out shopping for your own. If every parent (who has the financial means) picks an additional one out it can help out those parents unable to purchase the supplies.

Just a very easy thing to do -- to help out another student and so a teacher doesn't have to reach into their pockets to give an extra pencil. I think that is why some schools ask for supplies for the classroom too. Our backpacks went to inner city schools where the need was greater.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2014 07:47 am
Our PTO purchased all of the supplies (parents sent money prior to the start of school plus a couple extra bucks for a couple extra supply packs). Then, on the first day of school, each child grabbed a supply pack out of a large bin and everyone was ready to rock 'n roll. Some families did their own shopping using the same list but most families participated in this optional program. Certain items on the list such as 2 boxes of kleenex that were intended for shared use weren't part of the pack but were purchased in bulk and provided to the teacher for storage.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2014 08:49 am
Also via my work place -- you can donate a gift card from staple, office max, target, etc. for teachers to purchase supplies for their classrooms. I think as a school/business, etc. you need to think creatively to help out.
0 Replies
 
 

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