I stopped by my daughter's school yesterday to pick up her school supply list. What a suprise! No front page/back page list! I guess middle school teachers use less than elementary teachers. I was always dismayed to look at my kids lists each year because I knew that many parents just couldn't afford to purchase everything on the list. Some teachers even went so far as to write the brand name they wanted you to buy! I've personally purchased enough pencils and paper to kill a small forest and I know that my child did not use one hundred number two pencils in a 180 day school year!
It became very clear that I was purchasing not just for my child but for several others who did not bring things. Now I don't have a problem with helping others, especially kids. I taught for many years and saw first hand that many kids just don't have parents that are willing or able to go out and buy them new things to start the school year. I have given many, many things to kids over the years and spent much out of pocket money of my own to cover expenses for kids who couldn't do it themselves. I do have a problem with teachers who list three times as much on the school supply list making me think my child will need all the materials listed. One year after Christmas, my daughter came home saying she needed more pencils. I asked what happened to the one hundred pencils that I had sent on the first day of school. She said, 'well the teacher already gave them out to the other students!' I had a problem with that!
I also have a problem with teachers who do not want you to label the things you buy for your child. This is because they are going to dump it all in a box and give to whoever needs it. EXCUSE ME! We do not live in a socialistic society! If my daughter picks out a special folder for herself, then let her use it! One of my favorite memories is getting to pick out my school supplies. I also learned how to take care of my own things. I was careful with my crayons and made them last all year so I could use them over the summer at home. This socialist thinking of 'don't worry about your personal things, when something gets broken or destroyed, we'll just replace it with someone else's stuff!' is raising up a generation of children who do not respect property. Why should they take care of the crayons? They can get new ones by asking the teacher. I am trying to raise my children with the notion that you must take care of your things. That we need to reuse from year to year and it is becoming more and more difficult when they don't have anything of their own to take care of at school!
That's my rant for the day. I do care for others, I just get tired of being forced to!