I found a school supplies list for my daughter’s school and grade at Wal-Mart. I wonder if they were just out of that particular school’s lists when I checked last. I plan to purchase my daughter’s supplies this weekend.
However, I have a beef with… well, I’m not sure who to blame for this. I don’t think it is entirely the teachers. It could be the administration, but I’m not sure about that either. I suspect my real beef is with the other parents. Let me explain.
My daughter has been asked to purchase all the fairly normal supplies: crayons, colored pencils, markers, glue sticks, regular school glue, watercolor paints, folders, a bookbag, tissues, antibacterial soap, scissors, along with a few more unorthodox items, such as Ziplock bags. No problem. However, this statement was written next to the bookbag request on the list: this is the only item that needs to have your child’s name on it, as the rest of the supplies will be shared.
I don’t like this. When I went school-supply shopping as a kid, part of the fun was picking out stuff I really wanted, like a pencil box with cartoon characters I liked or pencils made out of recycled denim jeans. And they were mine. I think I know why I am being asked to buy supplies for the kids to share. I think it’s because some parents will not, for a variety of reasons, buy supplies for their child; therefore, I am being asked to pick up the slack.
This really bugs me. I am going to buy the requested supplies, but I think it is unfair to ask me to buy these supplies knowing that my daughter may or may not be using them. To my way of thinking, any shared supplies should be the responsibility of the school to provide. I imagine some of you out there will disagree with me about this. I just hate the notion that my daughter, excited about going to school and purchasing her first set of supplies, might get confused when they are handed over to her teacher to dole out to her classmates. Of course, it may be that the only thing she really cares about is her backpack, which she gets to keep for herself.
Update: I have decided that Maggie will share the tissues, soap, and Ziplock bags, because I understand these were intended for classroom use (and I doubt she would use them up by herself); however, I will tell her teacher that I do not want Maggie to give up her school supplies for the class. I asked my older daughter if it would have bothered her to have her school supplies taken by her teacher and put into some communal pile, and she said it would have. I believe there is a time and place for sharing, and Maggie will do plenty of that in school. I also think my gut was telling me the right thing, here. The crayons, colored pencils, markers, glue, scissors, and folders are Maggie’s. If she needs items replaced through the year, I’ll be happy to do so. I think it is fair that a teacher request that she not borrow supplies from others, too; in fact, I hope that she will learn to be prepared with her own supplies. Thanks for your comments, everyone.
P. S. This post is now several years old, and the concerns I expressed are a nonissue to me at this point. I also don’t like being used to further the right-wing agenda of someone I don’t know. Comments are closed, and folks who contact me about this post will be ignored.