Monday, July 23, 2012

All for 1, or 1 for all?

Greetings! It's been 4 days since my last post, and I have to say...I've missed being around the blogosphere. However, I needed a vacation in the worst possible way! So, I took one. Granted, it was a mini-vacation, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm not a swimmer, but I spent more time under water this weekend than I ever have in my entire life. A great time was had by myself as well as the other 12 people who were also there. Yes, 13 people (including myself) split between 2 lodge homes. Great times.

Now....on to the teaching stuff.
Every school year brings about new beginnings. As a teacher, we are constantly adjusting to provide the best possible environment for our students. One constant that ALWAYS remains the same in my classroom are school supplies.

Typically with supplies, I take the "community" route. Meaning when students bring in their supplies, either individually or in the school pack, I separate them myself and then as a class, we distribute all the items evenly so that each student has what they need.
 I usually ask that parents do NOT put their child's name on the supplies. This makes it easier for me to distribute. Supplies that have the students' name on them or character supplies (Spiderman, Hannah Montana, etc) are sent home.

For me and my classroom, it's always been easier to do community supplies because it ensures that each child has what they need. Our supply list usually has an abundance of each item and many items are left over. Honestly, no kindergartener needs 10 folders. 3 or 4 are enough to last the entire year. I also buy supplies that I need for my students as well, so we always have more than enough.

Last year, I had several parents disapprove my system of community supplies. The main objection I had to my community procedure was the fact that parents spent their hard earned money for THEIR child's supplies, not to supply the entire classroom. And I get it, I really really do. I teach in a low income area. Not only is our school Title 1, but so is our district. Many families receive assistance and can barely put together the funds for food and clothes, much less supplies. So they make an extra effort to ensure that their child is prepared for the school year. I can definitely understand not wanting to share supplies.

However, there are families in the same situation that simply cannot afford supplies. Their extra efforts only cover food and clothing, which means no $$ for supplies. If you have never seen the look on a 5 year olds face because they don't have supplies and their classmates do....believe me, it's heartbreaking. I buy what I can, but I also count on the students that bring supplies so that I know there's enough. Plus, sharing is caring, right??
I still plan to do the community supplies this year. Unless 99% of my parents object and complain to my administration, then for now, that's the best possible solution I have for my class.
Now for your input. How do you distribute supplies to your class? Is it all for one or one for all?

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