Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back to school

For my soon to be fifth grader, this was the list of supplies she needed for school:

2  binders
4 single subject notebooks (multicolored)
5 folders (different colors to coordinate with notebooks)
Colored pencils
Multicolored pens
Pencils: 2 boxes
1 package eraser tops
2 Glue sticks
1 box of markers
1 box CRAYOLA crayons
Post-it notes
1 Highlighter
1 Box of tissues
1 canister Clorox/Lysol wipes
1 Roll of paper towel

I got it all at CVS for $60, which felt a little ridiculous.  Why SO MUCH stuff?  Especially since I guarantee after one month, all of these things will be lost in the recesses of her bag.  If I ask her for a single pen from her bag in November, she can't find one.

Also, a roll of paper towels??  She really needs to carry an entire roll of paper towels AND a canister of Lysol?  Seriously?  How dirty do they expect things to be getting over there?  

And this is why I have back problems.  Because I spent my entire childhood lugging around THAT.


  1. Teachers need many things for a classroom and they are not reimbursed for anything. So they end up spending money out of pocket to set up their classrooms. And do you know how much a teacher makes? It is really not very much. I t hink the Lysol will come in handy when flu season kicks in and she is trying to keep kids from being sick.

    1. If that's the case, I'd rather they just ask me to send her to school with a $20 for the Lysol fund rather than attempting to fit all this in her bag.

    2. My SIL is a teacher. Not only is she busy all day, she spends many hours at home and on the weekends working without pay. She's so exhausted at the start of the school year until about Oct that she makes herself sick from the exhaustion. The last thing she has time for is to make several trips to get 35 canisters of lysol (even buying 12 three packs at Costco at a time is difficult for her to lug home), making another several trips for 35 paper towels since that stuff doesn't fit into her city car, another trip to another store for 35 of each of the other communal supplies. It's a lot to ask of teachers, especially since she spends about a thousand dollars out of pocket to buy supplies for her classroom including food for her kids. It's much easier for a parent to get a canister and a roll of paper towels on their regular shopping trip than to have her haul all that on her own.

    3. Couldn't we give the money to the school to buy it wholesale and have available in a supply closet whenever needed then? I just find sending my kid to school with 30 pounds of stuff a little ridiculous. Honestly, if teachers are really spending so much of their own money, maybe there should be a flat fee all students pay for supplies and the school can order it all.

    4. I like the idea of a lysol fund... Although it irks me that there isn't money set aside by the school for school supplies/ miscellany for the classrooms... and much like the janitorial supplies, the stuff is provided by the school not made the responsibility of the individual teacher.
      I'm in a pretty wealthy school district (always buy the crappiest house in the nicest district) and our list looks the same.
      Almost makes me want to go to PTA meetings.

    5. This was similar at our school but none of the items was mandatory. It was more like a wish list for the class room, things they needed etc. I would just go on the first day and drop it off myself and I'd often buy extra because our school, though in a great neighbourhood, bused in a lot of kids from less affluent areas so I would over buy to compensate for the parents I knew couldn't afford to spent that $20. That said, I was the president of our PTA and we decided to just refund the teachers for expenses they had up to a certain $ limit per person (I think we did $100 per teacher). Personally I wanted the teachers to submit requests for things they wanted/needed for their classrooms and then have one of the PTA parents buy it in bulk (like the crayons etc). However honestly most never got around to it even though we had the budget. That said, public school teachers in Canada make a ton of money, so maybe they didn't need it?

  2. The tissues, wipes, and paper towels are probably for classroom use and aren't meant to be carried back and forth. The teacher likely puts out boxes of tissues for students to use when they need to blow their noses, and the wipes/towels are used to clean desks and such. There may be a policy against giving teachers money versus buying supplies, as there's less accountability with money. I don't know; my husband is a teacher but he teaches high school and so I don't think he requests his students buy Crayolas!

    1. I am just trying to figure out where 20 rolls of paper towels and 20 cans of Lysol are going to go? And more weirdly, my younger kid was told not to bring anything at all to school. So… Younger kids don't use tissues??

  3. Amazing. The city high schoolers I taught came so ill-prepared that I trained my husband to steal hotel pens on all his business trips.

  4. Fizzy, no the school cant buy in bulk, that crap could require contract bids etc, bureaucracy at its finest. You really shouldnt complain about lugging stuff to school once in a year. Really first world problem... its for the education of YOUR KID.

    1. It's not once a year, because my daughter walks around with a backpack so heavy, she looks like she's going to fall over backwards. Like I said, I've got back problems and it's probably at least partially because of years of heavy backpacks.

      Everything you just said could also be said about school lunches yet they somehow manage to make that happen.

  5. Our school had a flat fee, much more sensible. Two boxes of pencils? Surely by that grade they are using pens, why so many pencils?

    1. And a huge box of crayons and markers AND colored pencils for a 5th grader??? It just seems ridiculous and wasteful. I bet they could keep a single box of crayons in the class for the 2 occasions they need them that would last for years.

  6. Actually, schools can buy in bulk. Through the PTA and parent volunteers, our school bought items in bulk and saved families money. I totally understand your frustration, Fizzy!!