bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

School Supplies Rant

The kids have now finished 10% of their school year.  And, I thought I was over the ginormous school supply list.  I was wrong.

First of all, let me remind you that I was once a teacher.  I know that a lot of items are bought out of the teacher’s own pocket.  So, I am in no way suggesting that a teacher should have to pay for supplies for her students.

That being said, grab a cup of coffee (or a martini), and sit back and listen.

Karen was supposed to bring in three cans of Play-Doh for 6th grade History.  Since it wasn’t part of the stuff that was covered on tax-free day, I forgot all about it.  Today, she came home with three cans of Play-Doh and said that they had used it in class, and they were allowed to take home whatever was left over.  Wait a minute.  Karen was supposed to bring in 3 cans of Play-Doh, she didn’t, and they still had enough left over for her to bring home 3 cans?  Obviously, not everyone wanted to take home Play-Doh.  The math just doesn’t work out for that.  But still.  Apparently, 3 cans per person was a little overkill.  (It’s not like this was the first time they’d done this project.  Mark had to bring in 3 cans two years ago.  And, yes, I sent his Play-Doh in.  Because he’s my favorite.)

This reminded me of why I hated the school supply list to begin with.

We had to buy EIGHT boxes of Kleenex (box of tissues, facial tissues, paper handkerchiefs, you know what I mean) for the start of school this year.  EIGHT! 

This was decided before the swine flu issue.  Now, when I taught elementary school, we had kids bring Kleenexes too .  This bothered me even then.  Parkway and Rockwood can’t afford to give the classes Kleenex?  REALLY?!  Granted, if they did provide Kleenexes, they wouldn’t be soft.  They’d be #3 sandpaper.

In a middle school, it would not be easy to plan a way to distribute Kleenexes evenly throughout the school if you had everyone bring in a box or two of Kleenexes.  I get that.  So, many of the classes came up with a very easy way to do it.  If you are in Choir, you only bring a box of Kleenex if you are in 6th grade.  Other classes only ask that the students taking the class the first quarter bring a box.  There you go.  Makes sense. 

Then, I read this one, and my family was treated to “Another Mommy Rant.” 

EVERY child in PE is to bring a box of Kleenex!

Please keep in mind that every child in school takes PE.   This means that they are planning on each child using an entire box of Kleenex during the time they are in PE this year.  They have PE three times a week at the most.  And, obviously, they don’t have it all day, they have it for 90 minutes each time.  Last year there were 786 students at my kids’ school.   Now, I’m not naive.  I know that not every child will bring in a box of Kleenex.  So let’s just suppose that only 600 kids (roughly 75%) bring in Kleenex.  (Where are they going to store all these, anyway?  Oops.  I digress.)  Six hundred boxes of Kleenex just for PE. 

There are 180 days in the school year.  The kids will attend PE 90 days.  There are an average of 200 tissues in a box.  Hmmmm… Now, I’m not a Math major.  But, I think I can figure this out.  Even if only 75% of the kids brought in a box of Kleenex, each and every kid would have to use 1.70 tissues every single time they went to PE.  (Okay, I know you can’t use 1.70 Kleenexes.  But, it’s the way the  numbers work out.)   Toilet paper?  I can see.  (Even then.  Is EVERY kid going to go to the bathroom EVERY time they are in PE class?)

Okay.  I think I’m over it now.

And, no it’ not the money.  It’s the PRINCIPLE of the thing.  (Not to be confused with the PRINCIPAL, who is awesome, amazing, and fantastic.)


Comments on: "School Supplies Rant" (6)

  1. We have realy tried to thin our lists down because of excess….I would think other schools would do the same.

    Colby had to bring 12 glue sticks & 2 bottles of liquid glue. Really? I know lots of gluing goes on in 1st grade, but 12?

  2. Ummmm….are you not factoring in that teachers sometimes need Kleenex at home and so the more that’s left at school comes home with me?
    Geesh…when I was a regular classroom teacher I added detergent, aluminum foil and evaporated milk to my list. (aka the things I usually run out of and forget to get at the store)

  3. You are the second person I know this year to discuss this subject, obviously, a growing grass roots movement. Perhaps you can look forward to a bouquet of those flowers made with kleenex (or is that a Canadian thing?) for mother’s day. Seems excessive to me. However, I am fearful that your mention of toilet paper may fuel the powers that be to include that in next year’s supply list! Why don’t they just increase the taxes by some minute amount, pay the teachers of the next generation a more appropriate salary and provide tissues, play doh, and toilet paper as the need arises. What other profession requires employees to supple their own tools or office supplies? Or perhaps the parents can give these items as Christmas gifts for the teachers instead of one more coffee mug to add to their collection??? Plus – if parents (here I refer to the derelict parents, not the good ones like yourself) had to pay more for their kids education – they may participate more and keep their kids on track instead of leaving most if not all of the accountability to the teachers. That’s my rant.

  4. Just remember kiddo that when your mother started
    to school all she had to take was a Big Chief tablet
    and a No. 2 yellow pencil!

  5. after seeing capitalism: a love story, this post really struck a chord with me. we really are teaching our children that over consumption is a good thing. its sad.

  6. […] years ago, I ranted about school supply lists. This year, I dutifully bought the boxes of Kleenex that were asked of me. (Even though Karen told […]

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