School Supplies from Hell

Feeding frenzy on the Serengeti? No. Back to School Sale at Staples.When a kid is going into 4th grade, there is no reason to have 2 FULL PAGES OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES NEEDED.

List:  crayons, markers or colored pencils. Must be 6 or 8 pack ONLY and must be in a box. Staples only has packs of 10 or 12 and only the crayons come in boxes.

Greek Chorus: Are you effin kidding me?

Me: Oh, no! C’mon honey, let’s find the man who works here.

Man who Works There: *sigh* Buy the big ones and leave some at home so there are only 6 in the box (I’m not making this up).

Aside: Harried mother slams her shopping cart into ours.

Me: I’m sorry.

Grandson: But she hit us. She should say she’s sorry.

Greek Chorus: Are you effin kidding me?

And that got us through item #1. Then I realize that there are not 2 pages of needed supplies. There are 3, yes THREE pages of supplies. Is this starting to sound familiar? But page 3 is devoted to a novel that the families have to purchase. The letter home states that Barnes & Noble has it for $9.77. The truth is that Barnes & Noble has it for $16.99 and the softcover doesn’t  come out until January.

Greek Chorus: Are you effin kidding me?

This child is going into 4th grade in one of the wealthiest districts in the nation, with very high taxes, and the district can’t afford to purchase these books? Come on.

At this point I’ve turned into the kind of parent/grandparent that I hate to be. I’m frustrated and exhibiting behaviors that I would never allow from him. I’m grumpy, yelling at him, and sighing loudly and often. Oh man…how am I going to navigate purchasing item #2?

Granted, I have never been an elementary teacher. And teaching organization skills is great. But the only thing my grandson learned is don’t-go-school-supplies-shopping-with-my-grandmother. The only thing I learned was that this teacher probably doesn’t have kids of her own.

Now from a high school teacher’s point of view. I learned quickly to become “parent friendly.” After going crazy driving to every store in a 50 mile radius from our house looking for a 5 subject, 5 Star spiral notebook….ok I’m exaggerating a little…a lot….and finally thinking that I would have to tie a 2 and 3 subject together to make 5 subjects…you get the picture. Especially after buying the expensive Trapper Keeper that my daughter’s teacher said she isn’t allowed to bring to school. Do they still sell Trapper Keepers? Oops, I distracted myself again. After all these years of insanity, I request 3 things for my class. 1) a notebook of any kind, 2) paper, if the notebook doesn’t come with it and 3) a pen. And very few students come with all 3 every day. *sigh*

Greek Chorus: Are you effin kidding me?


About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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21 Responses to School Supplies from Hell

  1. Paul says:

    haha you’re so Canadian…apologizing to the person who crashed into you. Also, the “leave some at home so you only have 6 in the box” is a great suggestion!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glazed says:

    I wonder how many kids that teacher will kick out of class when they don’t come to school with the exact type and amount of supplies on that list?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      They will be made to feel bad and phone calls will be made home. I originally posted this in August, 2014. I wanted to reblog but my button disappeared (somehow I changed my settings but now changed it back). Having gone school shopping again yesterday the same sentiments hold true!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    Yeah, it’s pretty crazy, at least when the kids are young. Once they reach junior high and high school it seems to get better.

    Hope you had a great summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ooooh …. just kidding ……

    Liked by 1 person

  5. School supply shopping sounds like a total nightmare! The school Stella is going to used this third party website called class bundle. The teacher picks out all the supplies they want their kids to have and the parents buy all of them in one bundle from the website and they get delivered the next day. It’s kind of amazing. I just had to click a few times and boom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      That sounds AWESOME! It’s like road rage here. It is very frustrating for the parents because different teachers have different requirements. So as a parent and a teacher it kills me. The schools should supply this stuff.


  6. Barb Knowles says:

    Reblogged this on saneteachers and commented:

    I wrote this 2 years ago, but it holds true as much today as it did then. Except now I have to buy a chrome book, too. In addition to the iPad I had to buy for him for 4th grade. But those other shoppers…..


  7. Ann Coleman says:

    I loved this! Especially the last line, because that is so often the case. Even when it is made simple, there will be many who don’t follow directions.
    But as for the school supply list, I completely agree. I know teachers work so very hard with way too few resources, but it really helps when they remember that the parents are also often pulled in many directions. I still remember when my son came home from middle school and announced that he had to make some kind of food that represented our ethnic heritage and take it in the next day. (The next day!) Buying it was not allowed, it had to be made. So there I was, calling my mother-in-law for her kolache recipe, and struggling to make the stupid things with my son (who had no idea how to bake anything) and knowing for a FACT that the teacher who assigned this didn’t have kids!
    I think this post should be required reading for everyone in education!

    Liked by 1 person

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