Prepping For a New School Year
REJOICE, Parents! School-time has returned! And with this time of year, parents have received the fall school supply list. It can be an expensive time for parents; growing children need new clothes, new shoes, and new supplies for an upgraded educational experience.
My husband is an elementary school teacher and he has already sent his list for his classroom. He added the standard paper, glue, crayons, etc. But there are some items that are not added to the list, and I can tell you from experience – teachers will appreciate throughout the year. Here’s a list of general items that usually come out of a teacher’s pocket at their own expense.
Multi-Purpose Duster and Screen Cleaner for Electronics
Now that the computer age is upon us, teachers are responsible for keeping their computers clean in their classroom. Unfortunately, there are not IT crews or tech specialists at schools to dust or clean the inside of the computers, and the keyboards, screens, and CPU towers get dirty very quickly.
Disinfectant Wipes & Paper Towels
There’s no need to get fancy with a name brand with these, any cheaper store brand works is appreciated more than you know. It’s a daily occurrence for a teacher to clean up uncovered sneeze, coughing or hacking spit, finger painting gone astray, and the occasional spill of anything brought into the classroom.
Kids break stuff – plain and simple. When your child’s especially made craft for grandma from art class takes an unfortunate fall, it’s the teacher with glue to the rescue. This also goes for show and tell items and the occasional prop to support lesson plans.
Finger nail polish remover
This is so helpful when the super glue goes haywire and a teacher needs to remove clumps of glue from fingers or desktops or reading glasses.
While most schools have outlawed gum, it still finds its way under desks, and on to floors and walls (don’t even get my husband started on hair, pockets, shoes, or the rear of pants). Gum, even when banished, always finds a way to stick to everything.
Sunscreen with bug repellant
Outdoor field trips and recess time are fun for both students and teachers… except when little Susie-Redhead comes home with lobster face and insect bites. Yes, often this is a request on field trip permission slips, but that doesn’t always mean mom and dad catch the request, or remember it when rushing around in the morning.
This is something that was on my son’s 4th grade list one year and I thought it was a brilliant idea. A good teacher keeps a stash of graham crackers just in case your student Izzy was running late and had to skip breakfast because she almost missed the bus. And it’s truly heartbreaking when you spot a child eating paper quietly, because he or she is too hungry to wait for lunch. Happens more times than you could imagine!
Odds & Ends
Sure, you already purchased and provided these things as dictated on your child’s school list, but throughout the year it’s truly amazing how fast a 10 pack of pens and pencils can disappear, dry-up, or break.
While many supportive and lovely parents give teachers a gift card during the holiday season or the end of the school year, providing the teacher a gift card to a local school supply retailer is so appreciated.
Before making the trip to the donation bin to drop off perfectly good shirts or shorts, check with your child’s teacher to see if they need any clothes for painting smocks, or when the chocolate milk explodes, or if ketchup somehow goes everywhere. In the winter months, extra hats and gloves are also good to send. And for the younger kids? A spare pair of underpants (accidents happen).
Providing just one of these items would make your teacher’s year! And if you doubt that your teacher actually needs any of this stuff, ask him or her if there is anything you may contribute that could be helpful for the school year. Teachers don’t bite (well, most don’t).
If money is tight now, or you prefer to wait a bit, consider sending something from this list later in the year. You’ll be your child’s teacher’s hero.
Wishing all teachers and students a brilliant and successful year! Let the learning begin!
MMS Moderator & Teacher