Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School (Work) Shopping!

I did my back to school shopping today.  Everything I bought is in the photo on the right.  I need a desk calendar, mechanical pencils and gel pens.  These are my new teaching supplies.  I used to buy all sorts of things but I am fully stocked now and I am also totally broke after being on EI for a year and only teaching two months minus three days of strike pay.  Either way, I doubt I'd buy more things for my classroom without expensing them these days.  I am older and wiser and tired of spending thousands of dollars on teaching supplies.  I am not exagerating.   I have easily spent thousands of dollars on my classroom supplies.  I am not complaining..just stating a fact.  I have tons of books...a huge classroom library of novels as well as dozens of teaching resources.  I also have bulletin board backgrounds, borders, posters, and the like.  I have invested in all sorts of things I rarely use like pocket charts...I think I should start using them but haven't really had a chance since I've been so busy having babies and being on maternity leave. 

So my list was...gel pens and mechanical pencils.  To give my school board credit, these are supplied but not at the level of performance that I would hope for.  The binder is not for work..it's for my Masters class which starts next week.  Yes, it's a night class starting before Labour Day which seems very wrong.  However, I confirmed the date with the professor and it's true.  She was worried I'd drop the class because of the early start date.  No worries there...I am a glutton for punishment and wouldn't want to give myself any extra time in my life.  Just kidding... I really enjoy the classes and am glad I'm taking them (I threw that in just in case she's reading this.)  No..really, I do enjoy them and am excited to learn more about teaching in my area!

But I digress...and was rather curious today as I sensed stress and frustration amongst my fellow shoppers.  Is this really the "Happiest Time of the Year" as the Staples commercial belts out every August?  It didn't seem very happy in there today while I did my shopping.  There was angst, anger, impatience, and a general sense of panic.  Maybe the happy part comes when the kids actually go back to school.  I bet that's what it means.  Well, parents..you'll be glad to know that it's a very happy time for teachers too.  I kid you not.  I love those first few days of school just as much as the kids do.  You get to see how much the kids have grown, reacquaint with co-workers and start the year off on a fresh note.  It's particularly nice for me this year after being on maternity leave for most of last year and then going back to work for just May and June.  A beautiful time of year weather wise but rather difficult to start teaching a class at that time.  On the upside, I met a lot of new students and colleagues and the transition will be easier this fall.

Now that I've got my school supplies ready to go, I am going to enjoy my LAST day OFF tomorrow.  Bittersweet.


  1. So they make you pay for school supplies? Is this why they make parents buy extra supplies for the class now?

  2. Nope..I don't have to pay for most things. If I want decent pens or pencils, I have to pay for them though. The majority of teachers DO pay for their classroom libraries, pocket charts, class calendars, bulletin board supplies, etc. I paid for all of my stuff when I first started out.

    As for extra supplies, I have no clue..I teach in a high school so supply lists are a thing of the past for me. I covered a couple of mat leaves when I taught elementary so I never got to choose which supplies I wanted the kids to have either.

    If they are asking parents to provide more supplies, I am guessing it's because the teacher doesn't have a budget (or enough of a budget) to cover those costs. The budget comes from the school board and teachers have to work with that amount. Worth asking though if you're concerned.


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