As the commercial goes, ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year!’ That is until you get that school supply list in the mail. When did this start exactly? When I was a kid we bought some new clothes, new shoes, a backpack (more on these Evil Suckers later) and maybe a case for our pencils….that we’d get AT school. All the basics: pencils, paper, glue, ruler, tissues…these things were available to us in the classroom…it was a given.
Here’s my son’s 5th grade supply list:
1 one inch three-ring binder
4 marble composition books
1 package of loose leaf paper with reinforced holes
1 zipper pencil-case
1 box of washable markers
1 box of colored pencils
5 folders…(green, red, blue, yellow, orange)
1 plastic folder
3 packages of post-it’s 1 1/2 x 2
1 pair of scissors
3 boxes of tissues
3 packs of one dozen pencils
1 ream of copy paper
Why not one desk, one chair, 2 blackboards and one excellent teacher? I understand times are tough all over and I think teachers are some of the most admirable people out there, but where did all of these basics go? We had scissors and rulers in my 5th grade classroom, what happened to them? There was a closet with paper and pencils and other necessities. And what’s with the specifics? The local big box store had lots of folders, but not one orange folder and for the life of me I couldn’t find 1 1/2″ x 2″ Post-It’s. Now if he were to need these to have at home to use, ok. But these get delivered to the school ahead of time and stored in a closet for everyone to use.
This is just to start the year and for the classroom. There will be other special requests throughout the year from the class as well as the art teacher etc. I have no problem saving egg cartons or toilet paper rolls for projects, but do I really need my kid to have his own compass, protractor and three-hole punch…wait, can’t have a compass anymore because it’s probably considered a weapon so scratch that.
I think a more reasonable list from a teacher would include:
1 bottle of wine
1 fifth of hard liquor
2 bottles of prescription painkillers
6 sets of ear plugs
any unused frequent flier miles
1 change of address form
These are thing that taxes don’t pay for that a teacher can REALLY use.
And backpacks? I think I had maybe a grand total of MAYBE 3 back-backs when I was in school. One in late elementary school one in Jr. high and one in high school. I only got a new one when duct tape would no longer hold the old one together properly. For some reason my kids need new ones every year in elementary school because the old Super Man one isn’t ‘cool’ anymore and he needs a new Super Man one. Luckily once they get to 4th grade or so they’re away from characters into more basics, though my 10-year-old has one with 245 pockets so none of us can ever find anything in it.
At least the house will be quieter in a few weeks…