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13 August 2008

Tomorrow is "Meet the Teacher" day [More:]My youngest is going to Kindergarten and I'm a little sad. Happy and sad that my baby is growing up. I'm getting their supplies ready now to take in early before school starts. We won't find out what our second grader needs until tomorrow.

I always remember shopping for school clothes and supplies. It was always fun. A new beginning each year.
My youngest is starting his senior year and just got his license. I no longer have to drive him anywhere. You want sad? I got yer sad *right here*, sister...
posted by Doohickie 13 August | 22:17
You know what, though, Lori? Reading about what you and your family is going through is like going into a 12-year time warp. All the things you and your family are doing at any given moment takes me that far back, to the time when we were doing pretty much the same thing. I think that's why I love the posts you make about your life.
posted by Doohickie 13 August | 22:20
Aren't ya glad? :-) I remember when I got my first car. I sat in it for hours the first night. Some of the ceiling lining was drooping and my father suggested I staple posters to cover it up. No. I know my father was worried terribly about my sister and I being on the road. We always got the lectures that people are dingbats on the road and they will kill you and they're not looking or paying attention. There was a time when he called me a "teenaged speeder" That was hilarious at the time. Still is.

I could barely sleep the night before I drove for the first time to school.

On a completely unrelated note, Ryan Lochte is doing well! I am rooting for him because he went to my high school and trains at my YMCA.

On preview, thank you, doohickie. That is so nice. Your posts show me the things we can look forward to.
posted by LoriFLA 13 August | 22:27
Where I grew up, the schools provided all our supplies. When I got my first list for my son, I couldn't believe half the stuff on it and I only bought what I thought he needed. When the teacher sent a note home saying I had to buy the rest, I wrote back, "... or else what?" She never responded. This woman also sent home progress reports every Tuesday and Thursday that she wanted signed and returned. I didn't go there either.

Homeschooling is ever so much less hassle.

"1 Box of 12 ct. #2 pencils –made in USA" - heheh
posted by Ardiril 13 August | 22:36
I read that Made in the USA requirement. I wonder why.

This is just a partial list. When we go in tomorrow there will be more.

They even require kids to provide tennis balls, or they used to. Not for tennis but to put on the bottom of the chairs to protect the floors from marks and scuffs. They cut an X in the ball with a box cutter and put it on the chair legs like a little boot. I will buy whatever my child needs. I'll even buy extra supplies for the class, but tennis balls for chairs to prevent marks sounds like a school maintenance issue. I'm still kind of torn on the tennis ball issue. I do want my kids to take pride in their school environment. I'll buy them if they ask. What the hey.
posted by LoriFLA 13 August | 22:49
Tennis balls! That's a hoot.
posted by Ardiril 13 August | 23:04
Oh lordy. Hand sanitiser? Anti-bacterial liquid hand soap? This is what I have to look forward to? Contributing to paranoia and antibiotic resistance?
posted by gaspode 13 August | 23:14
Gah, LoriFLA! I went though public K-12 and was provided with proper supplies at my elementary K-6 (1973-80). My dad has just sent me a clipping that it will now become a charter school. Bussing existed before 1978 (as permit without transportation for the Latino kids), but it was after that it became a major problem; my feeling is that young kids should be able to walk to school from their homes. If the schools in the neighborhood are crappy, it's up to the government to improve them. I have no idea how US can improve this.
posted by brujita 14 August | 00:34
Our school district is going through a severe budget crisis. There is a hiring freeze (Less people are moving here, federal cuts, the housing crisis, mandatory classroom size, yada, yada) They always cry poor. All the time. This year Kindergarten teachers are losing their assistants. There have been many layoffs. Some smaller schools have closed. The good thing is we do live exactly one mile from our school. We walk and ride bikes. I had to go through many hoops, complain, and have an editorial published in my local paper before my kid was granted school choice. The day after the letter to the editor was published some County big whigs were calling my house.

Their zoned school is farther away. The school I wanted, and the one they attend, isn't even "good" or "nice" like some of the other schools in my town, but a little smaller and closer to my house. They frown upon school choice and try to avoid it all costs even though the law is on the student's side.

gaspode, I was peeved with the anti-bacterial nonsense when my eldest started school two years ago. It's nuts.

One year ago they considerably cut back on the school supplies list. They are only permitted to ask for a certain amount of things and the rest is up to the parent.
posted by LoriFLA 14 August | 04:25
I remember having to bring just a box of tissues, which made sense because everyone was always sniffly. (And the school tissues sucked.) I also remember seeing someone else on the internets mention their school list having a can of Lysol on it.

I asked my dad and he said they only had to bring a pencil and a tablet of paper.
posted by sperose 14 August | 07:01
Awwww LoriFLA ... I love hearing about this stuff. My kid just turned two and he's not talking yet. Some of his little pals are starting preschool a couple of times a week but he's not .. he's nowhere close to being ready for that. I really like reading about what your kids are doing and hoping that when the time comes, mine will be able to do all the same things.

Doesn't it seem like school starts earlier now than when we were kids? I remember the first day always being right after Labor Day. This was in northeastern Ohio, though, so maybe it's different down South.
posted by Kangaroo 14 August | 07:25
Oh back to school is so exciting. I'm lazy and order the supplies through the school at the end of the previous school year. It's much easier if that option is provided and the price is comparable. I remember having to buy supplies for school throughout my education way back in the olden times.

I just took my daughter shopping for jeans, she moved up 3 sizes but is still thin as a rail and is beginning to get hips. It is so scary watching your daughter slowly begin to change into a woman. Sooo scary.

I hope my son gets a good teacher this year. Both his kindergarten and 1st grade teachers were not very good with his auditory learning style.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen 14 August | 08:02
Just wait 'til your kid gets sent home for bringing peanuts to school.

It's not fair to be the boy in the bubble. But if you bring enough bubble for everyone....
posted by Hugh Janus 14 August | 08:30
They have met the teacher. I was at work this morning and husband brought them. Kindergartner has the teacher our older son had. She is great. According to my husband, second grade teacher seems on top of things. A+++

Now I am off to buy more supplies. Loads more pencils, erasers, scissors, glue sticks, etc. And bottles of 4-09 and dry erase markers and copy paper and band-aids...

Kangaroo, we used to start the school year even earlier but people (northern transplants) started to complain. Last year the changed it. I kid about the northern peeps complaining about the school calendar. It was probably a mixture of people.
posted by LoriFLA 14 August | 12:06
Now I am off to buy more supplies. Loads more pencils, erasers, scissors, glue sticks, etc. And bottles of 4-09 and dry erase markers and copy paper and band-aids...

Wow, I wish y'all were the parents of some of my students. It's hard enough just getting some of them to show up with pen and notebook.

I get a whopping $150 reimbursement this year for supplies. Last year, I added several hundred dollars of my own money in notebooks, pens, art supplies, whiteboards, books, etc... I'm trying to watch that more this year. My budget can't take it any more than the school's. I was even thinking of asking my AP seniors for a contribution of $5 each for books we need (I can get Dover editions for $2/3 each -- Kafka's Metamorphosis and Kate Chopin's The Awakening, in particular). We're not really supposed to ask for money from students, though; there's some prior approval/accounting process. Maybe a bake sale?

Hope your kids have a great year, Lori!
posted by Pips 14 August | 15:13
A bake sale sounds like a great idea, pips.

My sister gets 1200 dollars per year for supplies. She does teach elementary ESE. She still spends her own money during the year.

I know teachers spend a lot out of pocket, that's why I'm willing to help all I can.
posted by LoriFLA 14 August | 15:26
Good to know i am almost fully equipped for elementary school.

i use to love getting school supplies.
Pencil boxes, pretty pencils and funky erasers, and a new binder.
And stickers!
i miss the old stationary stores.
posted by ethylene 14 August | 15:43
$1200... wow. I could do a lot with that. I knew a girl who taught at a Charter school here in the city who got $6000. Can you imagine? And she just had one class of about 25 students. I have three classes with 90 to 100 students. Something's just not equitable in the world.

I applied for a grant through, but no luck yet. They want teachers to forward a solicitation email (that they write) to family and friends, which I'm not comfortable doing; they didn't mention this until after I'd already written and posted the proposal. I suspect that's how they get a lot of their "contributions." Not that it's such a terrible thing -- it is a good cause -- but I don't like putting people on the spot.
posted by Pips 14 August | 15:49
I know, pips. It's tricky. I hate asking people for money. I am terrible at it. This is why I cannot be on any fundraiser boards or be a salesman of any kind. I cannot ask people for money. I figure if they want to donate, they will without solicitation.

6000 dollars? That is insane. That's the thing with charter schools, they can decide how to spend their money.

There is nothing wrong with expressing a need and letting it be known. Education is a great cause.

Good luck with your grant, pips!
posted by LoriFLA 14 August | 16:08
Pips, that sucks. You've prompted an AskMe, though.

My dad was a landscape architect when I was a kid, and I was a signatory to his account at the big stationery/ art supply shop in town - until my privileges were removed due to abuse! I still love stationery shopping.
posted by goo 14 August | 16:14
Good quote, goo. I have never heard it until now.
posted by LoriFLA 14 August | 16:21
Wow, Tomorrowful FTW in 6 minutes!

"it will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."
posted by goo 14 August | 16:24
Mrs. Doohickie doesn't get money for supplies (she teaches 10th grade history). By then, the kids kind of have it figured out. For those who don't, she has an answer.

When she first started teaching, kids were always forgetting something to write with. First she let them borrow pens they never returned. Then she bought boxes of cheap pens, knowing they'd never come back.

Then... she got really smart. She picked up a box of 500 little stubby "golf pencils" (the ones you keep score with on the course). When someone complains they have nothing to write with, she tells them to take one of those. "Aw, Miss, those things are terrible!" "Fine, but that's what you get."

No one forgets their pens anymore.
posted by Doohickie 14 August | 20:00
Thanks for the good thoughts, folks. Very appropriate quote, goo.

Yeah, a lot of times, when it comes to pens, they do forget, but sometimes, for some of them, they really can't afford supplies (the south Bronx, as you probably know, is one of the poorest urban regions in the country, I'm afraid). I give a lot of pens away. And paper and notebooks and folders. And I buy them books I think they'll like, like Judy Blume and R.L. Stine and graphic novels, when I can. A little good will goes a long way sometimes, and I know some of them really don't have the money. (I watched a girl go down the street to a different street cart cause their donuts were a nickel cheaper; over 90% of our students qualify for free lunch; some students live in shelters or foster care.) I can't afford notebooks for everyone, so I'll usually wait and see who still doesn't have one by the second week and discretely give them one. The school usually has some I can get my hands on, too (less than we used to, though; times are hard). I wish I could do more.
posted by Pips 14 August | 22:03
What music have you had to retire from overuse? || Friendship gripe/advice time