School Supplies

In a "high need" area, it's easy to blame the parents of our students. Sometimes it's hard not to. Often times students come into class weighed down by so much baggage from home it's just infuriating. A student will miss breakfast, or several days of class or come in looking run down and/or dirty. The impulse is generalize and say, "If these parents just did their job, maybe mine would be a bit easier!"

Today I was cleaning up my classroom. A large pile of bags carrying school supplies had accumulated near my desk. As I transferred and organized tissues, hand sanitizer, yellow note pads, markers and crayons, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I'm set for the year in terms of almost every classroom need, and it's because of my students' parents.

The school supplies list we sent out this year was lengthy. It included essentials like seven composition notebooks, seven two-pocket folders, pencils and loose leaf paper. But it also included supplies that in an ideal world should come from the teacher - art supplies, page protectors, tissues, etc. It's a lot to ask from these families, but I didn't hear one complaint or argument. My classroom was overwhelmed by supplies, because most of these parents will do anything to help their kids learn. They've done their part, the rest is on me.


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